I don’t know what the future holds for the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chris Grant. He’s on the hook for the selection of Anthony Bennett, who, to this point, has done nothing to merit being the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2013.
He may have to answer for Tristan Thompson, as well, as the No. 4 pick in 2011.
But here’s what he won’t have to do: He won’t have to worry about ever being called a stooge for knuckling under to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Grant did something that a lot of general managers over the years have not done: He stood up to the Lakers and told them, ‘no.’ He wouldn’t send “the contract of Andrew Bynum” (as the Bulls called it in their press release) for Pau Gasol, a move which would have given the Lakers enormous financial relief and future flexibility. He resisted sending a younger asset to the aging Lakers to make the deal.
Instead, he turned Bynum’s contract into the much-more-attractive Luol Deng.