Ferry not returning as Cavs GM

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry has parted ways with the franchise less than two weeks after the dismissal of coach Mike Brown, triggering a dramatic reshaping of the team’s brain trust as it desperately tries to retain LeBron James(notes).

Ferry confirmed to Y! Sports he is not renewing his contract with the organization.

Ferry’s contract ended this summer. He had said after the Cavaliers’ second-round loss to the Boston Celtics that he would speak with owner Dan Gilbert to decide whether it was best for him to continue as GM. Ferry was disappointed about having to fire Brown, a close confidante from their days with the San Antonio Spurs. Gilbert had initially seemed open to bringing back Ferry, but sources said he ultimately expressed reservation about extending a long-term contract extension.

“Since the loss to Boston, there had been the uncertainty with Mike’s situation and my own,” Ferry said in a phone interview. “I pushed to make a decision now so that the organization can start to move forward. I think the organization needed to put itself in a position of strength. We have a great owner and a good foundation.”

Assistant GM Chris Grant is taking over for Ferry. Grant had previously turned down the Atlanta Hawks’ GM job two years ago to continue working under Ferry.

“At the end of the day, there are good things ahead for this organization, and I think Chris is going to do a great job,” Ferry said. “He deserves the chance.”

Ferry took over the Cavaliers prior to the 2005-06 season. They advanced to the NBA Finals in 2007, when they were swept by the Spurs. Cleveland finished with the league’s best record the past two seasons, but fell short of returning to the Finals each time.

“In the last two years, we’ve won more games than anyone in the league,” Ferry said. “Over the last five, we’ve won the second or third most. We’ve won a lot of playoff series and playoff games. We’ve done things across the board at a high level and I feel good about that. Hopefully things are in place for Chris and the organization now.

“I’m just as disappointed today as I was the day after the Boston series. I’m a very competitive person and we didn’t get it done this year. But at the same time, I understand that you’ve got to build through players and culture and I think we did a solid job of that. I feel like we’re leaving this a better place than it was five years ago.”

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Updated Friday, Jun 4, 2010