An increasing volume of chatter indicates that it’s “only a matter of time” before the Pelicans hire former Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars to run their front office, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Executive vice president of basketball operations Mickey Loomis, who also oversees the NFL’s Saints, has exerted greater control of the team lately in his role, which puts him above GM Dell Demps, but rival executives say that’s only temporary, with one exec calling him a football guy, not a basketball guy, according to Berger.
Dumars, a Louisiana native, has a close relationship with Pelicans owner Tom Benson, Berger notes. Loomis and other Pelicans officials reportedly met multiple times with Dumars in the fall of 2014, though the team said in May that it hadn’t had talks with Dumars about any potential job. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders wrote shortly thereafter that people around the league had believed for a while that Dumars would eventually replace Loomis atop the Pelicans basketball hierarchy, and Zach Lowe of ESPN.com wrote in early May that Dumars was in play for a role that would place him above Demps in the organization. Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher said a year ago that Benson was eyeing Dumars as a possible future hire. Demps said this spring, on the day that the team fired coach Monty Williams, that Loomis had told him the rumors about Dumars were untrue.
The Pelicans are enduring a nightmare season after a rash of October injuries laid waste to many of new coach Alvin Gentry‘s plans. New Orleans is 11-25, though the team appears to be resisting the notion of trading soon-to-be free agent Ryan Anderson, despite reports of talks with the Suns that involved Anderson and Markieff Morris. The Pelicans, who have an open roster spot, reportedly expressed interest in trading for Solomon Hill, though that was more than a month ago. The team has since traded Ish Smith to the Sixers for a pair of second-round picks.
Dumars had high-profile hits and misses in his nearly 14-year tenure in charge of the Pistons, constructing the 2004 NBA champions and drafting Darko Milicic. He stepped down from atop the team’s front office in April 2014.