Sources: Cavs targeting Chauncey Billups to become president of basketball operations

Adrian Wojnarowski
The Vertical
Chauncey Billups. (AP)

After the departure of general manager David Griffin, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is targeting Chauncey Billups to become the franchise’s president of basketball operations, league sources told The Vertical.

Gilbert and Billups will meet soon to discuss the job and a potential deal, league sources told The Vertical.

In this scenario, Billups would hire a general manager with the day-to-day front office experience that he doesn’t have on his résumé, league sources said.

Gilbert and Griffin parted ways Monday, just one year after Griffin was hailed as one of the architects of the Cavaliers’ NBA championship. One source involved in the talks between Gilbert and Griffin told The Vertical that they “just couldn’t agree on the future.”

Griffin’s contract was set to expire on June 30. Trent Redden, vice president of basketball operations, is departing, too. Assistant GM Koby Altman remains with the franchise, sources said.

Billups, a television analyst, has a strong relationship with Gilbert and Cavaliers coach Ty Lue. Gilbert and Billups, 40, became friendly in the former All-Star guard’s years with the Detroit Pistons. Billups has no front-office experience, but recently interviewed for the Atlanta Hawks GM job. His strong reputation as a leader has moved him into consideration to become a front-office executive.

Billups was a five-time All-Star in his 17 NBA seasons and won the Finals MVP in the Pistons’ 2004 championship season. He retired in 2014.

Cleveland lost to Golden State in five games in the NBA Finals and has been working to reshape the roster to compete with the Warriors. Cavaliers superstar LeBron James can be a free agent in the summer of 2018, and the franchise is working to keep him in Cleveland.

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