CLEVELAND | Chauncey Billups was clutch as a player, earning the nickname “Mr. Big Shot.”
He could soon have a new title.
The former All-Star guard met Tuesday with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert about a position in Cleveland’s front office, a person familiar with the encounter told the Associated Press. The meeting took place in Detroit, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.
Gilbert is looking for a general manager — his fifth in 12 years with Cleveland — after parting ways with David Griffin on Monday as the Cavs regrouped after losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals. Griffin’s contract expires on June 30, and he and Gilbert decided to mutually part ways after being unable to negotiate an extension and not sharing the same vision for the team’s future.
Gilbert and Billups have some history. They’ve known each other from their days with the Pistons when Billups was one of the team’s leaders and Gilbert’s Rock Financial mortgage company was one of the team’s major sponsors.
A five-time All-Star, Billups does not have any front-office experience, so it’s more likely he could fill an executive role to work alongside a new GM. Billups, who has been working as a TV analyst for ESPN, is also close with Cavs coach Tyronn Lue.
Along with Griffin, Trent Redden, the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations, is also not returning. It’s possible Billups could fill that vacancy.
Billups retired following the 2013-14 season, his 20th in the league. Inside basketball circles, he’s well-liked, highly respected and would be a splashy hire for Gilbert, who has taken some criticism for his separation from Griffin, who helped build the Cavs and guided them to three straight Finals.
Billups spent eight seasons with the Pistons. He also played for Denver, Minnesota, Boston, the Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto and New York.