Chauncey Billups has withdrawn his name from the Cleveland Cavaliers search for a new president of basketball operations, in a move that likely has wider ranging implications. Billups passed on a high-paying job with a ton of prestige despite having no management experience. As a result, it’s easy to assume that he believes LeBron James won’t be around after next season.
If Billups wanted to be in management, the Cavs — who are in position to dominate the East for a while — would be a great team to take over. But not if James was headed out of town after his first season on the job.
Already we’ve heard that Jimmy Butler didn’t want to go to the Cavs, and there are rumors LeBron isn’t actively recruiting for the team in free agency. Throw in the fact that Cavs general manager David Griffin was let go unceremoniously and you’ve got a really bad situation in Cleveland. All of this adds up to the potential conclusion that James could be headed out of town after the 2017-18 season.
If Billups ever wanted to be an NBA executive, this would have been a fantastic opportunity to do so. Instead he turned it down to remain at ESPN as an analyst, a move that makes no sense unless he thinks the Cavs are a disaster waiting to happen. If LeBron does bolt, that would certainly be the case.