Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Grant out as Cleveland Cavaliers GM

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A day after an utterly embarrassing loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team that barely had enough players to play, Chris Grant is now unemployed.

While the team has not yet confirmed the move, Grant’s ouster was first reported by Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowksi:

The Cavaliers lost to the Lakers last night despite Los Angeles who have a record  being decimated by injuries during the game and leading into it. Cleveland did make a late push engineered by by their second unit, but ultimately fell short. It was the Cavaliers six straight loss and their eight loss in ten games. Out of those ten losses, five were by double-digits. The Cavaliers have not won at least games in row since early January, when they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz.

Grant’s legacy is fairly simple: He failed to build a team that could make the playoffs and contend. Outside of Irving, Grant’s  draft picks include Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett. Thompson showed flashes of improvement earlier this season, but has been down right horrible of late. Waiters reportedly has a bad relationship with Kyrie Irving and may have been toxic in the Cavaliers locker room. Meanwhile Bennett (whose selection was a huge surprise) is on pace to go down as the worst number one pick of all time. There is time for all players to still improve, but as of now, none have met expectations.

Grant also failed to hit big in free agency, as it is arguable that his best signing was C.J. Miles. This past summer, when he spent more money that he had in any previous summer and netted Earl Clark, Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum. Clark has been a disappointment, Jack’s contract is looking worse and worse by the day and Bynum did not pan out in the slightest, although his contact did enable the Cavaliers to acquire Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls.

The interesting part of Grant’s firing is that he was fired just two weeks before the trade deadline. In a way, it makes sense. With his job on the line, it’s plausible that Grant could have made a deal for the sake of making one and trying to get the Cavaliers into the playoffs. By letting him go, the Cavaliers may avoid making a Jiri Welsch for a first-round pick-type trade at the deadline.

But on the other hand, Grant is being fired in the middle of the season. It is not yet clear who will take over in the interim and when the organization will look to hire someone new. And with the deadline so close, will the interim GM (or Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert) look to try and trade away assets (namely Waiters, Deng and Anderson Varejao) in order to fully bottom out and then restart this summer through the potentially loaded 2014 NBA Draft?

This also casts some doubt on the future of coach Mike Brown. Although he signed a five-year contract with the team this summer, they have played far below expectations and will almost certainly miss their stated goal of making the playoffs.

UPDATE #1

Also per Wojnarowski, Cavaliers assistant GM David Griffin is the top candidate to become the Cavaliers interim GM.

UPDATE #2

The Cavs have official announced Grant’s firing, with a statement from Grant.

“My entire focus the past eight years has been on trying to build a team that can contend and win and provide Cleveland fans the success that they deserve,” said Grant. “I have a tremendous appreciation for the players that are here and the coaches that I have worked with, as well as our front office. I thank them for all of their dedication and commitment to the Cavaliers.”

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Tags: Anthony Bennett Chris Grant Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters Tristan Thompson

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