The Cleveland Cavaliers knew this season would be tough from the moment LeBron James took his talents to Los Angeles. Nonetheless, the franchise clearly tried everything in their power to keep him content during his time in Ohio.
Although the Cavaliers were strong enough to run the Eastern Conference back then, the balance of power in the NBA changed once Kevin Durant signed with Golden State.
Eventually Cleveland would ship Kyrie Irving and the rest was history. However, general manager David Griffin clearly had high hopes during his time in the front office.
Regardless of the fact that Cleveland isn’t considered a preferred destination for free agents, the former GM of the Cavs wanted to add one of the biggest stars in the NBA.
ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe went over the recent history of James and what-if scenarios, which includes a very interesting idea from Griffin.
In late June 2016, just days after winning one of the most thrilling and historically significant NBA Finals in history, David Griffin, then the Cleveland Cavaliers’ GM, gathered his staff and gave them a directive: Explore ways to get Kevin Durant.
“I don’t believe you can dream big enough in the NBA,” Griffin says now in recalling that meeting. “You have to go through the exercise.”
If Durant and James were actually teammates it’d be hard to envision the Akron native from leaving for the Lakers. Perhaps that dream pairing could become a reality this offseason when the Warriors’ forward hits the open market.
As for the Cavaliers, it proves Griffin wanted to keep every option on the table during his tenure.