By Tom Withers, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Koby Altman has some extra job security as he rebuilds the Cavaliers.
Cleveland signed its general manager to a long-term contract extension Friday (Saturday, PHL time), making him the first GM since Dan Gilbert bought the team in 2005 to receive a second deal.
The Cavs did not release terms.
The 37-year-old Altman signed a three-year contract in 2017, not long after he took over on an interim basis when the club parted with previous GM David Griffin, who guided the Cavs to an NBA title in 2016.
“Koby has been a culture-driver and an innovator who has built a fresh, new foundation and environment for our front office and team that inspires everyone involved,” Gilbert said. “He is a passionate leader who is executing a very dynamic, strategic plan for the future of the team and our vision for growth and success.”
Gilbert has had four other GMs beside Altman since he bought the Cavs from Gordon Gund 14 years ago. Altman, who started with the club as a pro personnel manager in 2012, says he is “truly humbled and excited” by the extension.
“We have a first-class organization, led by our chairman Dan Gilbert, an extraordinary fan base and a great team behind the team, who provide incredible resources and opportunities for us to be successful,” he said.
Altman will continue to oversee a restructuring that began when LeBron James left as a free agent in 2017 after leading Cleveland to its fourth straight Finals appearance.
The Cavs went just 19-63 during an injury-ravaged 2018-19 season that began with a six-game losing streak and coach Tyronn Lue’s firing.
Because it has always been difficult for Cleveland to attract free agents, Altman and the Cavs are attempting to rebuild through the draft and by developing young players. Altman has been aggressive with the plan, dealing veteran players and bloated contracts to acquire four first-round picks.
Altman’s deal that sent All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to Boston got Cleveland a high pick in 2018 that the club used to get guard Collin Sexton. After a slow start last season, Sexton blossomed into one of the league’s top rookies.
This year, Altman selected guard Darius Garland with the No. 5 pick, giving the Cavs a young backcourt to build around. The Cavs used two other first-round picks obtained by Altman for Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr., a pair of athletic swingmen.
Altman has also orchestrated contract extensions for five-time All-Star forward Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman.
The Cavs are off to a surprising 2-2 start this year under first-year coach John Beilein, who left Michigan and entered the NBA as a 66-year-old rookie coach.