In this April 22, 2014 photo, Cleveland Cavaliers interim general manager David Griffin wrap-up the season at the NBA basketball team's headquarters in Independence, Ohio. On Monday, May 12, 2014, the Cavaliers announced Griffin has been named general manager of the and Mike Brown has been released as head coach. (AP Photo)
In this April 22, 2014 photo, Cleveland Cavaliers interim general manager David Griffin wrap-up the season at the NBA basketball team’s headquarters in Independence, Ohio. (AP Photo)

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY

CLEVELAND (USA Today) — Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin didn’t have the roster he wanted when the season began, and he didn’t have his preferred roster two months into the season.

But in early January, Griffin made trades that altered Cleveland’s season. The deals turned the Cavaliers into a team that can contend for the Eastern Conference and possibly an NBA championship — the exact opposite of where they were on Jan. 13 at 19-20 and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

In the span of three days in the first week of January, Griffin acquired guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks and center Timofey Mozgov from the Denver Nuggets, and since Jan. 13 the Cavaliers have been one of the best teams in the NBA.

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