The Orlando Magic are ready to shoot their shot.
According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the team is interested in poaching Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin to fill the front-office vacancy created by their decision to fire Rob Hennigan:
The Orlando Magic’s search process for a new top basketball executive could extend until the end of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ playoff run, which would allow Orlando to gauge the interest of general manager David Griffin, league sources told The Vertical.
The Magic are researching multiple possible candidates to replace former GM Rob Hennigan, but the possibility of Griffin does intrigue Orlando CEO Alex Martins and top Magic officials, league sources said.
Griffin’s contract expires at the end of the season and talks on a new contract with Cavaliers ownership have been stalled for months, league sources said. There’s an increasing belief among league executives that Griffin could be lured away from Cleveland, league sources said.
It’s kind of laughable that the Cavaliers haven’t hashed out a new agreement with Griffin. He may have lucked into LeBron James, and even Kevin Love, but he’s orchestrated a ton of savvy moves in the time since, acquiring impact placers like Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert without having to relinquish any real assets. And he deserves a gold medal for not acquiescing right away to LeBron James earlier this season, when the four-time MVP basically demanded the Cavaliers get a playmaker. Griffin instead waited for the buyout market to unfold, which led him to Deron Williams, the exact kind of player Cleveland wouldn’t have had to juice to acquire via trade.
For the Magic, their interest in Griffin makes sense. He’s good at his job, and they need someone who can be trusted not just to start from scratch, but to make the most of what’s already in place.
It’s still early in the process, though. The list of candidates for the NBA’s only vacant general manager position right now is bound to be extensive. And while the Magic would probably pounce at the chance to land Griffin over everyone else, they cannot count on the Cavaliers being incompetent enough to let it reach that point. They can wait on the situation in Cleveland to resolve itself—a luxury of not having competition from other teams looking to fill similar roles—but should ultimately be prepared to pivot toward one of their many other candidates.