-- The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired general manager Chris Grant, the team said Thursday.
The Cavs are mired in a disappointing 16-33 season and a six-game losing streak that's dimmed playoff expectations set down before the season by team owner Dan Gilbert.
"This has been a very difficult period for the franchise," Gilbert said in a statement released by the team. "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. I can assure everyone who supports and cares about the Cleveland Cavaliers that we will continue to turn over every stone and explore every possible opportunity for improvement to shift the momentum of our franchise in the right direction."
Grant's major moves since last summer -- drafting Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 overall pick, signing free agents Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum and a recent trade for Luol Deng -- have failed to reverse the team's fortunes.
Grant also was a driving force in re-hiring coach Mike Brown last year, and the players have not responded positively to the change. Recently their lack of effort in games has brought Brown under fire, as well. The Cavs lost to an injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers team on Wednesday that finished the game with only four eligible players.
The Cavs focused on the draft after losing LeBron James in free agency in 2010, and Grant worked to get six first-round picks over the past three years. But other than Kyrie Irving, who was taken first overall in 2011, those picks have failed to pan out, and the Cavs are on pace to miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
Since James left the Cavaliers, no team has had a worse win percentage than Cleveland (.287). And the Cavs have been even worse since acquiring Deng on Jan. 10, as they've gone 4-10 while allowing a league-worst 49.4 opponent field goal percentage.
Grant, who was named general manager in 2010, had one season left on his contract. The team said assistant GM David Griffin will be acting general manager.
"My entire focus the past eight years has been on trying to build a team that can contend and win and provide Cleveland fans the success that they deserve," Grant said. "I have a tremendous appreciation for the players that are here and the coaches that I have worked with, as well as our front office. I thank them for all of their dedication and commitment to the Cavaliers."