Pelicans GM Dell Demps Fired Amid Anthony Davis Drama

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2019

New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps takes the court before an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in New Orleans, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012.  Demps has agreed to a new multiyear contract extension to remain with the club and see through the roster overhaul that he and coach Monty Williams have conducted in tandem during the past two seasons. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans and general manager Dell Demps parted ways Friday, the team announced (via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated):

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the decision.

Demps' reported firing comes just weeks after superstar center Anthony Davis requested a trade and informed the organization that he would not re-sign. Rather than dealing Davis prior to the trade deadline, the Pelicans decided to keep him.

New Orleans ranks 13th in the Western Conference at 26-33 and trails the Los Angeles Clippers by six games for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Davis has been put on a minutes restriction since the February 7 deadline passed, but he suffered a shoulder injury during Thursday's 131-122 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Per ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, the injury was diagnosed as a contusion.

According to Wojnarowski, Davis left the arena after getting injured, which made Pelicans ownership "livid." Wojnarowski added that Pels owner Gayle Benson told associates that she wants to "overhaul" the organization and find a new general manager.

Wojnarowski noted that the Pelicans are considering internal candidates such as director of player personnel David Booth or special adviser Danny Ferry, who previously served as GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks.

Ownership reportedly also wants to pursue a "high-level" basketball executive.

The 49-year-old Demps, a 6'3" guard who played for the Warriors, Spurs and Magic, was hired as GM of the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2010, and he enjoyed only moderate success during his tenure with the organization.

New Orleans made the playoffs just three times under Demps and won only a single playoff series. With Davis set to get traded during the offseason, the Pelicans want someone else in charge of what could be a long-term rebuild.

While Demps is out of the picture, Wojnarowski reported that ownership is happy with the performance of head coach Alvin Gentry.

Knowing that, the Pelicans' next general manager may need to be open to keeping Gentry on board rather than bringing in a new head coach of their own.

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