You're David Griffin, the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In May, you were promoted to your first full-time general manager position in your nearly 20-year career in NBA circles. By all accounts, you have more than earned the position. The spotlight is overdue.
This is your big moment, as this past summer, LeBron James, maybe the best athlete Ohio has ever seen, fell into your lap and decided to return to Cleveland to try to bring home a championship to a city that desperately wants it.
Shortly after James came back, you swung a deal for Kevin Love, the starter for an All-Star team in a loaded Western Conference. Of the top three players in player efficiency rating in 2013-14, two are now employed by your team, and you managed to get Love without giving up Kyrie Irving. Three All-Star starters, starting for your team.
Seeing your blockbuster moves, Las Vegas named your team the preseason title favorite, and outside expectations ran high. A 10-story banner featuring James, the city's prodigal son, was raised in downtown Cleveland. A Nike spot that ran on the season opener and went viral online featured James huddling with the team and the city chanting, "Together. One city. One goal."
But your team is now struggling. Your starting center, Anderson Varejao, is out for the season with a torn Achilles, and James needed two weeks off in the middle of the season to get his body right. After an embarrassing 1-8 stretch, it's the first time since James' rookie season that his team has fallen below .500 after December.
Headlines are swirling with Cavs drama. James, harmlessly or not, shoved your head coach, David Blatt, the guy who you vehemently supported in a news conference just nine days earlier. That same night, Blatt benched Love for the entire fourth quarter as the team fell to its sixth straight loss. The benching came on the heels of the coach publicly saying Love wasn't a max player even though he makes a max salary.
On one hand, the organization has preached patience, patience, patience; this could turn around. On the other, James and Love can both opt out of their contracts this summer and leave you empty-handed.
But patience is in short supply. Your patience evidently ran out on Dion Waiters, so you flipped him to the Oklahoma City Thunder. You traded two future first-round picks for Timofey Mozgov. Those aren't moves made from patience. Those are win-now moves.
So what do you do, fire the coach? You just held a news conference saying you wouldn't, so it seems hard to do that now. You can't trade James; Irving isn't the problem.
It's time to pick up the phone and see what you can get for Love.