INDEPENDENCE: Cavs acting General Manager David Griffin is ready to start spending the assets his predecessor Chris Grant worked for years to stockpile.
“We’ve been in something that may be best described as asset-accumulation mode. What I’d like to see us be in is targeted-acquisition mode,” Griffin said Tuesday in a season wrap-up news conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “We need to take the steps we need to get better.
“We have the asset value in terms of veterans that are well thought of, young players that are extremely talented, draft picks into the future, our current draft pick, cap space, an owner that will spend money and stop at nothing to succeed.”
Griffin said the Cavs could have as much as $26 million of cap space “without doing too much gyrating.” They have the ninth-best odds in the May 20 draft lottery, with a 1.7 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick.
But with bold moves apparently ahead, Griffin believes it’s a mistake to consider the draft as “finding saviors,” saying there’s also luck involved in picking the right college players.
“You can’t let hope on the draft dictate what you do,” Griffin said. “You have to act on the knowledge that we’ve gained. We’re going to build in a very direct manner. Sometimes I think we put too much into the guessing game of the draft and we won’t be guessing.”
On Irving extension
The Cavs can offer guard Kyrie Irving a maximum contract extension this summer, but Griffin said those discussions won’t begin until after July 1.
“Those aren’t decisions made in a vacuum and they’re not done without talking to those players and really understanding where their hearts and minds and spirits are,” Griffin said. “I think Kyrie is very much engaged in this organization and he’s engaged in getting better.”
Can guards coexist?
One issue the Cavs must decide is whether guards Irving, the first overall pick in 2011, and Dion Waiters, the fourth overall pick in 2012, can play successfully together.
“Relative to their relationship I have no qualms at all telling you that they’re fine,” Griffin said. “In terms of their fit on the court, I think you’ve seen flashes of them being very, very good together. They’re two ball-dominant drive-and-kick creators, that requires an open floor and that requires shooting and we need more of those things. It also requires the basketball IQ to play off of those players.
“It’s not about the two of them, it’s not about their fit, it’s about our fit. I think it’s too easy to blame either one of them. That’s not what’s gone wrong here. It’s a collective thing.”
Griffin said Irving, 22, is making strides toward becoming the leader the Cavs need.
“What he’s done a very good job of is opening himself up to the team and to trusting more,” Griffin said. “You see how good he can be when he plays with USA Basketball, when he trusts everyone around him. That’s a difficult process when you’re a young kid.”
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read the her blog at www.ohio.com/marla. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.