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NBA Rumors: Cavs’ Griffin Losing Interim Tag

The Cavaliers are on the verge of removing David Griffin’s interim tag … Amar’e Stoudemire believes Carmelo Anthony will re-sign … Elton Brand unsure if he’ll continue playing

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Cavaliers Removing Griffin’s Interim Tag

David Griffin is close to being named general manager of the Cavaliers, The Plain Dealer has learned.

Neither owner Dan Gilbert nor Griffin would comment on Saturday night, but a source said that after interviewing four or five serious candidates, the Cavs settled on Griffin, who has been the team’s acting general manager since Gilbert fired Chris Grant on Feb. 6.

The fate of coach Mike Brown is still not clear.

via Mary Schmitt-Boyer of The Plain Dealer

This lines up with what Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler reported back on April 5, when he wrote: “If they can’t find that proven star executive they are looking for that could woo free agents to Cleveland, staying with Griffin seems more likely than not.” Sure enough, Cleveland interviewed a number of candidates and ultimately stuck with Griffin.

Griffin joined the Cavaliers in 2010 as the team’s vice president of basketball operations. He was promoted to interim GM after Chris Grant was fired earlier this season. Over the last several years, Griffin has developed strong relationships with a number of Cavs players, including Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. The organization allowed Griffin to make a number of moves after taking over for Grant, including the trade for Spencer Hawes at the deadline and the signing of free agent Scotty Hopson to an unorthodox two-year, $3.8 million contract.

While signing a player like Hopson may seem like a minor move, it was actually an interesting addition that could pay dividends for the Cavs this summer. Hopson had never played in the NBA and the Cavs could’ve inked him for the veteran’s minimum, but they gave him the $3.8 million deal with a non-guaranteed second year so that Cleveland could use him as a trade chip this summer. He’s essentially cap space for another team, and it shows the Cavs plan to be active this offseason. Alonzo Gee ($3,000,000 non-guaranteed), Matthew Dellavedova ($816,482 non-guaranteed) and Anderson Varejao (only $4 million of $9,704,545 guaranteed) could be included in the deal to provide further salary cap relief, and Cleveland has a number of first-round picks to facilitate a deal as well (their own picks and future first-rounders from the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami HEAT).

The fact that the Cavs brass signed off on the Hopson move showed that they trusted Griffin and were willing to let him get creative as he tries to rebuild the team.

As The Plain Dealer article states, it remains to be seen what will happen to Brown. However, the fact that he inked a five-year, $20 million contract last summer could mean he’ll be back for at least one more season.

Stoudemire Believes Anthony Will Stay

He thinks Carmelo’s going to remain a Knick, but he’s not 100 percent sure. “My gut feeling is that Carmelo will be staying,” Stoudemire said earlier this week on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “That’s my gut feeling right now today but I’m not totally sure.”

Anthony plans to opt out of the final year of his contract and test free agency this summer.

“I try to let those guys handle what they do,” Stoudemire said. “I try to stay out of it and I focus on what I can do to better the team and I just take it as that … you don’t want to have too many opinions floating around.”

via Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Stoudemire has spent a lot of time around Anthony over the last few years, but even he admits that he hasn’t talked to the All-Star about his upcoming free agency decision since he doesn’t want to bother him.

It’s unclear if Anthony even knows what he’s going to do at this point. He may not know until July when he can meet with teams and hear everyone’s respective pitch.

Anthony has stated that he will exercise the early termination option in his contract to opt out of the final $23,333,403 in his deal. The 29-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent.

The Knicks can offer Anthony a maximum five-year, $129 million contract whereas the most he can get from another team is four years and $95.8 million. Anthony is expected to draw interest from the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers among others.

This season, Anthony averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists, but New York won just 37 games and missed the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference.

Brand Unsure if He’ll Retire

Elton Brand: I’m going to rest for a while. Rest. Talk to the family and see what is going on with my kid. My son is an avid basketball fan. He loves it. He wouldn’t mind seeing me playing. My wife, we’ll see. Definitely looking forward to seeing how I feel in a few months and making another run at it. … It has [crept in that this could be the end of my NBA career]. It’s sad because I’ve been doing it for a long time and I love it. Body feels good and I didn’t miss any games because of injury so as long as I can still compete and help out a team, hopefully this team, we’ll see.

via Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Brand is 35 years old and he has now played 15 seasons in the NBA. After making $4,000,000 in 2013-14, he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Later in the Q&A, Brand did say that if he decides to continue playing, he wants to remain in Atlanta. He inked a one-year deal with the Hawks last summer, and he would be open to doing something similar this offseason.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Brand said when asked if he would want to return to the Hawks. “It was a great year for me and for the team and everything this organization is building and stands for.”

As Brand pointed out, he was healthy this past season, playing in 73 regular season games and all seven of Atlanta’s playoff games. Brand averaged 5.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks as a reserve this season.

Brand isn’t the stud that he was earlier in his career, but he has shown over the last few years that he can still contribute to a team as a role player.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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