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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The Cleveland Cavaliers made a big change with another season falling apart, firing general manager Chris Grant on Thursday. Grant was fired a day after the Cavs dropped their sixth straight game, an embarrassing home loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team that started with eight players and finished with five. Vice president of basketball operations David Griffin will serve as acting general manager. Owner Dan Gilbert made it clear hes unhappy with what has transpired in a season that began with hopes the Cavs would make the playoffs after a three-year absence. "This has been a very difficult period for the franchise," Gilbert said in a statement. "We have severely underperformed against expectations. Just as this is completely unacceptable to our loyal and passionate fan base, season ticket holders and corporate partners, it is also just as unacceptable to our ownership group." Gilbert also met with reporters at the teams training facility following the announcement. He expressed confidence that the Cavs can show improvement under coach Mike Brown over the final 33 games. Grant was instrumental in the rehiring of Brown, who was fired during his first stint with the team in 2010. Gilbert was asked if Browns job was safe for the rest of this season. "Were going to see Mike Brown succeed this year because I think that hell be able to do good things and I think this team will be able to do good things," Gilbert said. "I think theyre going to look at each other and theyre going to look in the mirror and theyre going to rally." Gilbert also was asked why he decided to change his general manager but not his coach. "Coach Brown has only been here over half a season," he said. "Chris Grant has been here 8 1/2 years. Hes been the general manager almost four years. Theres a lot of talent on this team. I think everybody knows that." Gilbert promised last spring the Cavs would not return to the NBA lottery, but Cleveland is 16-33 and has dropped six in a row -- matching its longest losing streak of the season. The Cavs are 5 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference and their only win in the last nine games came over Milwaukee, which has the leagues worst record. "Accountability starts with me," Gilbert said. "I take responsibility for where were at." Grants tenure will be known for not being able to rebuild the Cavs fast enough despite having a slew of first-round draft picks, including two No. 1 overall selections. Grant addressed the teams poor play last week, saying everyone in the organization was accountable, including himself. Grant took Anthony Bennett with the first pick last June and then signed free-agent centre Andrew Bynum during the summer when no other team would offer the 7-footer a contract. Grant was able to unload Bynum in a trade with Chicago for Luol Deng, but the forwards arrival has done little to invigorate the Cavs. Cleveland has been under .500 since the fifth game of the season and the players have been slow to pick up Browns system on both ends of the floor. In a season thats already had too many low moments, the Cavs hit rock bottom Wednesday. Not only did they fall behind by 29 points to Los Angeles, the Lakers played the final few minutes with five healthy players, including one who was allowed to remain in the game after committing his sixth foul because coach Mike DAntoni was out of bodies. The Cavs were booed throughout the game and Brown, who has been unable to come up with any answers to stop his teams skid, benched All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and three other starters in the fourth quarter as Cleveland got back in the game before losing 119-108. The acquisition of Deng last month brought hope the season could be salvaged, but that proved to be temporary. The Cavs went 3-2 on a West Coast trip, but followed that with a 1-4 record on its longest homestand of the season. Cleveland then lost three consecutive road games, including a 31-point rout by the Knicks on national television. Grant joined the organization in 2005 as vice-president of basketball operations/assistant general manager. He was hired as general manager on June 4, 2010. Griffin was hired later that year after spending 17 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, the last three as the clubs senior vice-president of basketball operations. Cheap Shoes NZ . And by all indications, the team is expected to select phenom Connor McDavid with their selection. The Buffalo Sabres, who were knocked down to the second overall pick after finishing with the worst regular season record, are expected to take the other generational player in Jack Eichel. 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According to the Red Wings Twitter feed, Zetterberg plans to practice with the team on Thursday and is aiming for a second round comeback.With Randy Carlyle returning with an extension in hand behind the Leafs bench, the culture change Tim Leiweke promised at Brendan Shanahans introductory press conference may come in the form of a trade of the teams captain. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger addressed the Dion Phaneuf rumours on TSN Radio 1050 Monday, saying although the Leafs may not be “shopping” their No. 1 defenceman, he is not considered untouchable and GM Dave Nonis would be willing to listen to offers. “The Toronto Maple Leafs are not shopping him,” Dreger said. “Theyre not shopping Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri, but teams know that if theres an offer made – or the right offer made – that Toronto would consider that.” Dreger noted he had spoken with Nonis over the weekend, with the GM saying the team isnt engaged in active conversations regarding Phaneuf, and have not done so since this past trade deadline. Fellow TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie also weighed in on the Phaneuf rumours, saying that although there have not been any recent conversations, the Leafs would not be opposed to a trade. “I think under the right circumstances, the Leafs would move him, and I think at various times over the course of the year they flirted with that notion, but I dont think right at this moment, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in a hard-sell on weve got to get rid of Dion Phaneuf and go in a different direction, but theyre all ears if somebodys interested,” McKenzie said. Comparing Phaneufs situation to the Jason Spezza rumours that have surfaced recently, both Dreger and McKenzie agree that of the two captainns, Spezza is the more likely candidate to be dealt as the longtime Senator is reportedly open to a change.dddddddddddd Despite owning a seven-year, $49-million deal that kicks in next season, the Leafs captain does not have a no-movement clause, giving GM Dave Nonis the flexibility to potentially unload him. In reference to the culture change comments made by Leiweke, The Globe and Mails James Mirtle said whether its a deal involving Phanuef or some other pieces on the Leafs roster, change is likely to happen. “If youre keeping the coach, then something else has to change, and I dont think theyre just going to change the assistant coaches,” Mirtle told TSN Radio 1050. “It makes sense to look at what kind of value he has on the market.” Despite having his detractors, Mirtle said Phaneuf is still a valuable piece that has misused by the Leafs. “Phaneufs got limitations certainly, and the Leafs dont particulary work around those limitations that well,” Mirtle said, referencing how Phaneuf has been successful being a second-pairing defenceman that can contribute in an offensive way. “It seems in Toronto theyve tried to recast him as this defensive stalwart – Shea Weber-type – that can kill penalties and play against other teams top lines, 25-26 minutes a night and Ive never understood why thats the case. “You can have a six or $7-million defenceman that doesnt do it all and still get value out of him.” Mirtle mentioned Edmonton, Dallas and Minnesota as potential landing spots for Phaneuf, saying he would fit in nicely in a No. 2 role behind Ryan Suter with the Wild. 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