Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is among the possible preliminary candidates to replace Dell Demps as the Pelicans‘ GM, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren may also be a target for New Orleans, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Team owner Gayle Benson, who wants to find a pathway to sustainable success in a small market, intends to be aggressive in pursuing the “best available candidates” to run the club’s basketball operations, according to Wojnarowski.
[RELATED: Pelicans parting ways with GM Dell Demps]
Elsewhere in his full report on Demps’ dismissal, Wojnarowski relays that Benson is looking to take back control of the Pelicans from the “outside forces” she believes have tried to push the franchise in a direction that isn’t in the club’s best interests.
While Woj doesn’t get into specifics, it seems safe to assume that’s a reference to the efforts Anthony Davis‘ camp made to get him moved to the Lakers prior to the trade deadline.
Here’s more on the Pelicans and their front office shakeup:
- The determination to fire Demps was made by Benson, making it the first major decision of her tenure as Pelicans owner, tweets Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune.
- The Pelicans have known for weeks that Demps would likely need to be replaced, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate, who says (via Twitter) that the club had initially hoped to wait until the end of the season to finalize its decision.
- Kushner also suggests (via Twitter) that today’s move makes it clear that the Lakers/Davis saga leading up to the deadline was controlled by team ownership rather than Demps, since the club wouldn’t have let him make the final call on a decision of that magnitude if he was about to be fired.
- Prior to Demps’ dismissal, Chris Mannix of SI.com dropped an interesting tidbit in a story about Davis and the Pelicans, citing sources who said that New Orleans may have been more open to dealing with the Lakers at the deadline if Davis’ trade request had been “handled quietly.”
- Jordan Greer of Sporting News argues that – after Davis’ latest injury and Demps’ firing – the time is right for the Pelicans to sit AD for the rest of the season.