Before the media circus in Cleveland that was the Kyrie Irving trade during the offseason, there was another major move in Ohio. General Manager David Griffin, who had been with the team since 2010, was renounced of his GM duties after the Cavs’ organization and Griffin could not come to a contract agreement. Griffin was then replaced by assistant GM Koby Altman, and what was Altman’s first order of business after becoming GM? Trading Kyrie Irving.
Altman shipped off the disgruntled point guard to Boston in exchange for All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick in 2018, which at the time, seemed like a steal for Cleveland. But according to Griffin, and later many NBA media pundits after Cleveland’s terrible start to the season, the Kyrie trade was actually terrible for the Cavs.
Former Cavaliers GM David Griffin: Kyrie Irving trade won’t be judged historically as good trade for Cleveland https://t.co/tVrdLWuVo2
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) November 26, 2017
David Griffin had this to say about the trade:
“Will it be judged historically as a good trade? No. I mean, it won’t be,” he said. “Because Kyrie’s going to be a special individual player. And the way this works from a social-media standpoint and a media-coverage standpoint, all they’re going to talk about is how good he is.”
As you can see, Griffin was definitely a fan of Irving while he was in Cleveland, and you can bet your bottom dollar he would have done everything in his power to get him to stay with the Cavs, but Griffin also stated that Koby Altman did the best he could when you consider Kyrie was literally forcing his way out of Cleveland.
“I think it was a very good deal given the cards they were playing at the time. But do I think he’s going to be hailed as having made a great trade deep into the future? Probably not.”
Who knows, maybe if the Cavs could have agreed to terms with Griffin, Kyrie would still be wearing the Wine and Gold.