David Griffin built a team that went to three straight NBA Finals, winning one title last year. In most organizations, that would be enough to earn a contract for life, or at least a few extra years. Not with the Cleveland Cavaliers, though, as the team couldn't come to terms on a new contract with their architect. When looking back at previous comments, nobody is likely to be more upset about the general manger's departure than LeBron James.

Griffin out in Cleveland

Griffin entered this season without a contract beyond the year, earning "lame duck" status. Then, the Cavaliers spent the summer reportedly negotiating with the general manager, which made sense considering he just led the team to an NBA title.

But throughout the year, it appeared more and more that owner Dan Gilbert saw Griffin as an expendable piece of the puzzle, and now, they have officially let that piece go.

The timing of this move couldn't be any worse, though. The NBA Draft is just three days away and the Cavaliers will now have nobody to pull the trigger on any moves. Free agency will start a week after that and Griffin won't be able to recruit any stars or secure any trades to give LeBron James help against the Golden State Warriors. It's also a bad look for the organization, casting aside a key member of their front office when openings in the NBA are few and far between due to the logical constraints of the league calendar.

James can't be happy

Back in June, as the NBA regular season was beginning to come to a close, James advocated on behalf of his general manager. "It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension," he said to ESPN in early April. With that, Griffin had the biggest ally imaginable in the Cavaliers' organization, one who gets what they want when they throw their weight around.

Unsurprisingly, James felt blindsided by the decision. Ryen Russillo of ESPN claimed that the superstar was "surprised," while fellow ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst clarified that James was not consulted regarding Griffin's firing by Gilbert. Adding even more fuel to the fire, Bleacher Report's Howard Beck suggests that this could change James' future with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The inability -- or refusal -- to retain one man can once again change the future of the Cavaliers' organization. If that sounds familiar, just rewind the clock to the summer of 2010, when the Miami Heat gained a championship-level player.

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