Cavaliers finalizing deal to promote Koby Altman to GM, sources say

Cavs GM will be thrown right into the fray (1:11)

Adrian Wojnarowski says Koby Altman is well-respected around the league, but is walking into an extremely difficult job. (1:11)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are finalizing a deal to promote Koby Altman to general manager, league sources told ESPN.

A formal announcement of Altman's promotion from assistant general manager to GM is expected soon, league sources said.

Altman gives the Cavaliers instant credibility around the NBA on an operations and deal-making front, but his undertaking is massive: Handle Kyrie Irving's trade request and LeBron James' pending free agency in 2018.

Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert has been closing on the Altman promotion for weeks now, turning his focus to him in the wake of Chauncey Billups declining an offer to become president of basketball operations, league sources told ESPN.

Altman is expected to pursue a top-level, experienced assistant GM to join him in the Cavaliers front office, league sources said. Front-office executive Mike Gansey is expected to be promoted to an assistant general manager role, too, league sources said.

Altman has been running the front office, along with ownership, since Griffin and assistant GM Trent Redden parted ways with the Cavs shortly after the NBA draft in June. Altman is well-respected around the league and has shown an ability to coordinate significant trades and deal-making in his time with the Cavaliers. He was near a trade for Indiana star Paul George on June 30, as part of a three-way trade with the Denver Nuggets, that fell through when the Pacers decided to accept the Oklahoma City Thunder's offer.

Altman, 34, has risen quickly in the front-office ranks, arriving with the Cavaliers in 2012 after working as a college basketball assistant coach at Columbia.