Pelicans GM Rumors: Warriors' Larry Harris, Nets' Trajan Langdon to InterviewMarch 29, 2019
With the New Orleans Pelicans eliminated from playoff contention, the franchise is shifting focus to rebuilding its front office for next season and beyond.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday afternoon that the Pelicans have been granted permission to interview several candidates to fill their general manager position.
Among them are Golden State Warriors director of player personnel Larry Harris, Brooklyn Nets G League general manager Trajan Langdon and Houston Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.
New Orleans relieved Dell Demps of his general manager duties on Feb. 15.
Demps served as Pelicans general manager for eight-and-a-half seasons and drafted six-time All-Star forward Anthony Davis No. 1 overall in 2012. Under Demps, New Orleans appeared in the playoffs three times but never made it beyond the Western Conference semifinals.
The handling of Davis' public trade request on Jan. 28 was, as Charles Curtis of USA Today put it, "the last straw" for Demps' tenure:
"Since becoming GM of the then-Hornets in 2010, the franchise has made the playoffs just three times and failed to surround Davis with the supporting cast necessary to compete for a title after Demps was handed a superstar on a silver platter.
That’s really why he was fired.
He was involved in the trade that ex-NBA commissioner David Stern nixed when the league temporarily owned the franchise, with Chris Paul going to the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team deal that would have gotten the Hornets Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom and Goran Dragic. Instead, Demps dealt him to the Clippers for Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and a first-rounder. Either way, Stern later called Demps “a lousy general manager.”
Looking toward the future, the Pelicans have circled strong candidates with proven track records.
To start, on Friday, Langdon was named the NBA G League basketball executive of the year as the general manager of the Long Island Nets. The former Duke star and Cleveland Cavaliers guard has held this position as well as assistant general manager at the NBA level for three seasons.
Harris' experience is extensive at the NBA level, though this season is his first directing player personnel for the Warriors. Previously, Harris worked as a basketball consultant and scout for Golden State for six years and held various positions within the Milwaukee Bucks front office in the 1990s and 2000s before that.
Relevant: Harris was the Bucks' general manager from 2003-07, including two playoff runs.
Rosas has spent 16 seasons with the Rockets—mostly alongside general manager Daryl Morey—at the forefront of innovation in the NBA. The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears recently spoke with Rosas, a Colombia native, who said he wishes to see more Latinos and Latinas in executive positions or front offices around the league.
Outside of his duties in Houston, Rosas was the general manager of the Dallas Mavericks for three months ahead of the 2013 season and has been an international player personnel scout for the USA Basketball men's national team since Aug. 2015.
Whoever is selected to step into the Bayou will likely be tasked with orchestrating a reasonable return in a Davis trade and building a contender without Davis.