Draft busts played big role in Chris Grant's firing

Draft busts played big role in Chris Grant's firing
Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant doesn't have a good track record when it comes to draft selections. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

Chris Grant will need to get creative when he re-formats his resume for his next job.

The longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive who was fired as general manager this week was responsible for drafting the disaster that is Anthony Bennett, signing the mess that is Andrew Bynum and hiring the failure that is Coach Mike Brown.


And don't even get us started on his presiding over that loss to the Lakers when they essentially finished the game with four eligible players.

Grant can still tout his drafting of Kyrie Irving, but he probably shouldn't list Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert as a reference.

It was largely Grant's draft busts that led to his undoing. Cleveland had four top-four selections over a span of three years but picked poorly with the exception of Irving.

Bennett (No. 1 in 2013) could go down as the worst top pick of all time, Tristan Thompson (No. 4 in 2011) has been solid but unspectacular and Dion Waiters (No. 4 in 2012) has been a menace on the practice court and in the locker room.

Brown could be next to go, even with assurances from Gilbert that he's here to stay. Griping among players has become rampant, Irving hasn't played with his usual verve and newcomer Luol Deng seems lost on a team that was expected to make the playoffs but is contending only to become the NBA's biggest disappointment.

Other than that, everything's great!

Stars will dunk

Terrence Ross could be the first dunk champion who stands next to no chance of defending his title.

It's not that the Toronto Raptors guard won't compete Saturday in the dunk contest as part of All-Star weekend festivities; it's just that he's facing competitors who have actual name recognition for a change.

Indiana's Paul George, Washington's John Wall and Portland's Damian Lillard will give the dunk contest three All-Stars for the first time since 1988, when Michael Jordan edged Clyde Drexler and Dominique Wilkins to win the dunking crown. Golden State's Harrison Barnes and Sacramento's Ben McLemore will also compete this year, though they are probably longshots like Ross.

Last year, Ross competed as part of a field that included Jeremy Evans, Gerald Green, James White, Kenneth Faried and Eric Bledsoe. The competition was filled with obscure names and botched dunks, with Ross rebounding to win after missing his first six attempts in the first round.

Knowing how the NBA loves its stars, expect one of them to take the title this time. There will be a new format pitting the competitors from the Eastern Conference (George, Wall and Ross) against their Western counterparts (Lillard, Barnes and McLemore) in a series of head-to-head matchups.

Here's betting on a final round battle between George and Lillard.

Breathless weekend


Lillard is guaranteed one title over All-Star weekend: busiest man in New Orleans.

The Trail Blazers guard will become the first player to compete in five events, starting with the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday. Lillard will then participate in the skills challenge, three-point shootout and dunk contest Saturday before the All-Star game Sunday.

It's probably a good thing for Lillard no one is expected to expend any energy on defense by then anyway.