In case you needed another piece of evidence that wooing LeBron James is the single most important thing to the Cleveland Cavaliers (among lots of teams) this summer, well, here's one: Yahoo! Sports' Johnny Ludden is reporting that Danny Ferry is preparing to resign as Cavs' GM and that assistant GM Chris Grant will be elevated to the top executive role.
This news follows closely on the heels of not only Mike Brown's firing as Cavs coach, but also the rumor that LeBron is preparing a countrywide free agency tour with matching Nike shoes for each team that he'll visit to boot.
In other words, while James may have recently told Larry King that the Cavs have "an edge," everyone in Cleveland is keenly aware that they won't be receiving any sort of "hometown discount" if serious changes aren't made to the team.
Ferry's original job was to make enough major changes, in terms of the roster anyway, that the Cavaliers could win a title and lock LeBron in. Clearly, if the report is true, the acquisitions of Shaquille O'Neal, Mo Williams, Leon Powe and Antawn Jamison proved to be his undoing.
"For five years, Danny Ferry was instrumental in leading the establishment of a culture, process and professionalism that has become part of the fabric of the definition of 'who' are the Cleveland Cavaliers. Danny worked extremely hard to create this strong foundation that we will continue to build upon going forward with much gratitude and appreciation," said Gilbert. "This solid foundation is evident by the natural and clear choice to choose his close associate, Chris Grant, whom Danny worked in partnership with for his entire five years leading the Cavaliers front office, to succeed Danny as the Cleveland Cavaliers new general manager."And Ferry's:
"On behalf of the entire Cleveland Cavaliers organization, I would like to thank Danny and hope that he and his family experience nothing but continued health and success in the years ahead," added Gilbert.
"It is difficult to articulate what the last five years has meant to me, both professionally and personally. I have had a tremendous experience as the General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and have great respect for the people within the organization that I have worked with. Our ultimate goal was to win a championship but it was also critically important to establish a foundation to achieve sustained success and have the ability to contend year in and year out. That helped us achieve our first trip to the NBA Finals, qualifying for the playoffs each of the last five years and back to back 60 win seasons," said Ferry.
"At the same time, we wanted to establish a championship-caliber culture that provided a consistency of purpose and a compass for operating on and off the court. I truly appreciate Dan Gilbert' s dedication and commitment in helping us achieve many of our goals. As with many organizations, structure and dynamics evolve and it was evident to me that it was the right time to move on. I have great respect for Dan Gilbert and wish he and the entire organization nothing but success," continued Ferry.