The Pelicans have hired former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry in a special advisor role, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (via Twitter). The club has since confirmed the hiring in a press release.
“I am excited to announce Danny Ferry has accepted our offer to join the New Orleans Pelicans basketball operations staff as a special advisor,” Pelicans GM Dell Demps said in a statement. “Danny’s experience, insight and achievements will be a welcomed addition to the Pelicans as we continue our quest to improve the team.”
Ferry was at the center of a controversy in Atlanta after making racially insensitive remarks while reading a scouting report on Luol Deng during an organizational conference call. That incident ultimately led to Ferry stepping down as the Hawks’ general manager in 2015, but he has been linked to multiple team executive openings since then, including – most recently – the job Bryan Colangelo ultimately landed in Philadelphia.
While the additions of Jerry Colangelo and Bryan Colangelo to the Sixers’ front office ultimately led to Sam Hinkie‘s departure, the Pelicans’ addition of Ferry doesn’t look like a signal that Demps’ time in New Orleans is nearing an end. There was some uncertainty at season’s end about Demps’ future with the Pelicans, but he is expected to remain in his GM role for the coming season.
In fact, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that Demps encouraged the Pelicans to hire Ferry, who worked closely with Demps in San Antonio. Scott Kushner of The Advocate adds (via Twitter) that the move was Demps’ decision, since he wanted an advisor with executive experience.
If the Pelicans ultimately do decide to make a change at GM sometime down the road, perhaps Ferry would top the list of potential replacements now that he’s in the building, but that’s just my speculation. As Kushner notes (via Twitter), Ferry won’t necessarily be in the building all that much, since he’ll split his time between New Orleans and Atlanta, where he lives.