David Griffin grew up in the Valley of the Sun and spent 17 years with the Phoenix Suns organization, starting as a communications intern under Jerry Colangelo’s rule and eventually becoming Steve Kerr’s right hand man as vice president of basketball operations.
Finally, he’ll get his chance to lead a franchise.
According to a report from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cleveland Cavaliers will remove Griffin’s interim tag and name him the permanent general manager of the franchise. It’s a long time coming.
Griffin stepped down in Phoenix after the 2010 season as the franchise looked to replace Kerr’s regime and joined the Cavaliers, where he would be assistant to general manager Chris Grant. Ironically, Griffin joined Cleveland as the replacement of Grant’s former assistant GM, Lance Blanks, who left the Cavs to become the Suns’ general manager alongside president of basketball ops Lon Babby.
Grant flamed out and was fired during this past season after a handful of failed draft picks not named Kyrie Irving — among other reasons. Griffin made quick time making the changes that he could to calm the storm in Cleveland, most notably trading a former pick of the Suns, Earl Clark, for stretch center Spencer Hawes.
Of course, Griffin’s past contributions in Phoenix run deep. He had a mixed bag of draft picks working under Kerr, which included Clark, Robin Lopez and of course, Goran Dragic. Suns owner Robert Sarver credited Griffin for pushing for the maneuvering in the second round of the 2008 draft that helped Phoenix acquire The Dragon.
The Suns moved up in the draft by handing the the San Antonio Spurs $500,000 in cash and also ended up paying another $500,000 to buy Dragic out of his European contract — plus added to Dragic’s salary to help him pay the rest of the $1.5 million buyout.
“(Griffin said) we need $500,000 dollars,” Sarver said at Dragic’s MIP award presentation. “I go, ‘When.’ He goes, ’10 minutes. We got to buy this draft pick, we got to get this guy from Europe.’”