Earlier this month, Chauncey Billups turned down an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers that would have made him the President of Basketball Operations. With every passing day, if seems more and more like Billups made the correct decision.
Billups initially turned down the Cavs because they lowballed him. He was reportedly offered a salary of $1.5 million, which is about $2.5 million less than market value. But that is likely not the only reason he didn’t want to run the Cavs.
The Cavaliers have an uncertain future, especially after owner Dan Gilbert let go of incumbent general manager David Griffin. LeBron James was apparently quite close to Griffin and was irked when he wasn’t re-signed. Without Griffin, there’s been a power vacuum in the Cavs front office, one Chauncey may not have been able to fill immediately. As they lack direction and are unable to court free agents who would help LeBron, it’s growing more and more difficult to compete with the Golden State Warriors. LeBron may see the writing on the wall and bolt for a better situation once his contract expires next summer.
If you’re Chauncey Billups, you don’t want to be in Cleveland after LeBron leaves. Without LeBron, the Cavs have a bunch of aging (and expensive) role players, no young talent, and virtually no draft picks. You don’t want to clean up after that.
Perhaps because of the uncertainty surrounding LeBron, Kyrie Irving has recently demanded a trade. Even though they still don’t have anyone (officially) leading the front office, the Cavs seem to be set on moving Irving before the season starts. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Irving has been unsettled in Cleveland since LeBron came back from Miami, presumably because he wants to be the best player on his team. But considering how little value stars like Jimmy Butler and Paul George have been traded for this offseason, and how many teams are tied up because they recently signed free agents to significant contracts, this will be difficult for the Cavs to navigate.
If you’re Chauncey Billups, you don’t want to step into a job and immediately shop your star point guard at an inopportune time. That’s especially true for an executive like Billups who has no prior front office experience.
Chauncey Billups seems to be content waiting for the perfect front office position to open up for him. If and when he does sign with a team, it won’t be a team with as much uncertainty as the Cleveland Cavaliers.