According to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes and Marc J. Spears, the Cavaliers offered Billups an annual salary of $2 million—after initially offering $1.5 million—to serve as their president of basketball operations. Citing sources, Haynes and Spears reported people hired into the role Billups was pursuing generally start out making $4 million annually.
On Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Billups bowed out of the Cavaliers’ front office search following several meetings with owner Dan Gilbert.
“I have great respect for Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and I greatly appreciate the discussions we had regarding their organization,” Billups told Wojnarowski. “As I have conveyed before, ultimately I would like to lead a team’s basketball operation and be a part of a successful franchise. But presently, the timing just isn’t right to delve into that role in Cleveland. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on broadcasting and my other business endeavors.”
With Billups out of the running, the Cavaliers will have to scope out candidates who can step in and head up their front office with potential changes looming next summer.
In June, Wojnarowski (h/t NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman) reported there was a growing belief “within Cleveland and around the league” that LeBron James could leave Cleveland in the summer of 2018 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Whoever the Cavaliers peg for the prominent position, their primary goal should be to appease James and do everything in their power to keep him draped in Wine and Gold to avoid a meltdown like the one that occurred after he left in 2010.
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