Pelicans reportedly fire GM Dell Demps
Dell Demps has been on the hot seat for a few years now, just scraping by while making short-term moves that appeared more about keeping his job and winning games now over planning for long-term success around Anthony Davis.
This season that all seemed to catch up with him — Davis demanded a trade and the Pelicans are well out of the playoff chase in the West.
That has cost Demps his job after nine seasons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
New Orleans has parted ways with GM Dell Demps, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2019
Ownership was livid with an injured Anthony Davis leaving arena during Thursday night’s game, sources say. Gayle Benson is telling associates she wants an overhaul of Pelicans and a search for a GM to take command of Davis trade talks and the reshaping of team’s future.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2019
Frustration with Davis leaving the building is more the last straw that cost Demps his job rather than the sole firable offense. Demps has been on thin ice for a while, what happened Thursday was just enough for New Orleans to pull the trigger now rather than wait until after the season. But the sense around the league is this was coming no matter what.
If Demps had traded Davis to the Lakers at the deadline he would have been fired anyway. Also, sources have told me that it wasn’t Demps’ call, that ownership and upper management (the people above Demps) did not want the Laker trade and he couldn’t have pulled the trigger on the deal even if he wanted to. Ownership and upper management didn’t want to feel “bullied” into a deal.
It was thought by many around the league that there would be a housecleaning in New Orleans after the season and that the new GM, whoever he or she is, would be the one making the call on the trade and the direction the team takes next. The question is, will coach Alvin Gentry be out, too?
Ownership and senior management have been pleased with coach Alvin Gentry and his staff and believe players are largely responding in what’s been a tumultuous stretch, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2019
Expect the Pelicans to move reasonably quickly on finding a replacement, whether it is internal or external. They want someone in place to have a strategy for the team heading into the draft, a strategy that includes what to do about a Davis trade.