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New Orleans makes strong move, reportedly hires David Griffin to head basketball ops

David Griffin

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin speaks at a news conference before an NBA basketball game between the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


“The thing that would attract me to an opportunity is just the opportunity to be in lockstep with ownership. To have ownership, the coach, and the front office all on the same page moving forward and sharing a vision… You have to raise a family, and if you’re not going to come at it with that approach, it’s probably not a situation that would speak to me.”

That was David Griffin speaking to NBC Sports last month about what he wanted in his next job as a GM/head of basketball operations.

He apparently has found that family in New Orleans.

Griffin will soon be hired to take over basketball operations for the Pelicans, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This is a strong, impressive hire by the Pelicans and their efforts to get the franchise moving in the right direction.

What does that mean for the future of Anthony Davis on the trade market?

Griffin wants a young star, a role-playing veteran, and draft picks to rebuild the franchise. That sounds like the Celtics’ proposed offer with Jayson Tatum, but the Lakers and others could still be in the mix. Griffin is a smart and detailed executive, he is going to shake every tree and see what falls out.

This also could be good news for embattled coach Alvin Gentry, he has a strong relationship with Griffin going back to Phoenix.

Griffin had his choice of jobs — the Lakers certainly would have come calling (if they hadn’t already) — but he told me and others what he wanted was a place where he both had power and ownership he could trust. (Remember he worked for Robert Sarver with the Suns and Dan Gilbert with the Cavaliers, two of the league’s more meddling owners.)

What he also wanted was power, and the authority to do things his way.

What the Pelicans wanted was someone they could trust and give power to in that position. The former GM, Dell Demps, reported to Micky Loomis of the NFL’s Saints. It led to some awkward moves that were short term thinking, Demps looked like a GM continually making moves to save his job. Griffin has power and stability and now can think long term.

That’s going to be very good for the Pelicans.