Former NBA champion is frontrunner to take over as Cavs' top executive

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Chauncey Billups played his last NBA game during the 2013-2014 season.

During an impressive 17-year career as a member of the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Pistons, for whom he won his only championship, Billups maintained a sterling reputation across the league and was one of the most respected point guards during his time in the league.

For his career, he averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 assists, but during his prime, he was regarded among the cream of the crop, as evidenced by his five All-Star selections, three All-NBA selections, two-time All-Defensive team honors and the 2003-2004 NBA championship and Finals MVP award.

However, his time out of the league might be nearly a close following the surprising firing of Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin.

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Cavaliers and Billups have a mutual interest in a front office role for the former standout player.

Per ESPN, Billups has had a strong relationship with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for more than a decade, stemming from the time that Billups endorsed Gilbert’s Rock Financial, a Detroit-based mortgage company. 

Sources told Windhorst that Gilbert and Billups are expected to meet and discuss a possible position on Tuesday. 

A deal could be made final as soon as that meeting concludes if all goes well. There is no indication that the Cavs are looking at any other candidates at this time.

Windhorst also pointed out that Billups is close to Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, as the two dined together during the NBA Finals on numerous occasions.

Since Trent Redden, Cleveland’s senior vice president of basketball operations, will also leave the organization after his contract expired, Billups will apparently be interviewing for the highest basketball executive job in the organization (director of basketball operations) and will then hire a general manager.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Justin Zanik is recognized as a top candidate for the general manager job under Billups. On Monday, Zanik learned that the Milwaukee Bucks would not retain him after he served as the assistant general manager there last season. Instead, the Bucks went with 34-year-old Jon Horst with their GM vacancy, thus leaving Zanik as the odd man out.

There is also a connection between Billups and Zanik, which makes the pairing logical. Billups’ agent Andy Miller runs athlete representation firm ASM, where Zanik used to work.

While Griffin’s firing was certainly unexpected and caught mostly everyone off-guard, it seems as though the combination of Billups and Zanik would be a suitable duo within a new front office for the thriving franchise.

Kevin Love
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Kyrie Irving
LeBron James

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