CLEVELAND — Koby Altman’s next move with the Cavaliers will be personal.
Altman, who has been serving as Cleveland’s interim general manager during a strange summer of activity, will be named the team’s full-time GM, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Friday. The deal is being finalized and Altman’s promotion is expected to be announced in “the next several days,” said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.
Altman has been with the Cavs since 2012 and had worked as David Griffin’s assistant since after the 2016 NBA championship season. Griffin left the club last month after he couldn’t work out a contract extension with owner Dan Gilbert, who has a track record for discarding GMs.
Altman will be his fifth since 2005 and the 34-year-old impressed his boss by navigating the Cavs through some rough waters this offseason. With little flexibility to sign players because the Cavs are so far over the salary cap, Altman re-signed sharpshooter Kyle Korver and secured deals for free agent forward Jeff Green and Jose Calderon. Altman also signed Turkish forward Cedi Osman, who was drafted by the Cavs in 2015.
The Cavs are also in contract talks with former MVP Derrick Rose, who played for the New York Knicks last season and is looking for another fresh start.
Gilbert, who tried unsuccessfully to add former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups to his front office after Griffin left, has been impressed with the job Altman and others have done to keep the Cavs competitive.
Altman now has to deal with a surprising issue, as All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has asked the club to trade him, a person familiar with the request told the AP. Irving informed Gilbert last week that he wants to play elsewhere and his demand has put Altman in an interesting spot early in his tenure.
There will surely be strong interest in Irving, one of the league’s premier point guards. But because he’s under contract for two more seasons, the Cavs don’t have to rush into any deals and Irving may not be going anywhere soon.
Also, LeBron James can opt out of his contract next summer and the potential of him leaving will impact everything Altman does going forward.
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