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New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is all in for his new position with the franchise and suggested star big man Anthony Davis still could be, too.
Griffin was introduced to the New Orleans media Wednesday and said he has spoken with Rich Paul already. Paul is Davis’ agent, and Griffin said he intends to sit down with both men before proceeding with Davis’ trade demand of this past season.
“You are either all the way in or all the way out,” Griffin told reporters. “There’s no in between.”
Davis requested a trade in January but the Pelicans were unable to find a deal to their liking prior to the early February deadline. The chaos resulted in the firing of former Pelicans general manager Dell Demps.
But Griffin has some history with Paul, who also represents LeBron James, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith — three key parts to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship run of 2016. Griffin was GM of the Cavs at the time.
As Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate reported, Griffin was “straightforward about not letting Davis go without a fight,” during the press conference.
That said, Davis becomes an unrestricted free agent in July 2020 and has yet to give any indication he would be open to remaining with the Pelicans. Perhaps that is the purpose behind Griffins planned meeting with Paul and Davis. Paul, it seems, has opened the door for the possibility of a Davis return.
New Pelicans Director of Basketball Operations David Griffin said his connection to New Orleans goes back to a visit he made to the city as a 14-year-old, when he enjoyed world-class meals at Pascale’s Manale and Commander’s Palace. pic.twitter.com/XWcfM3VZPt
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) April 17, 2019
Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are expected to maker a strong push for Davis over the summer. Others will surely factor in as well.
The Pelicans said they had more than 100 applicants for the job that Griffin eventually landed. Griffin said he knew after 30 minutes of interviewing with team owner Gayle Benson that he wanted the job. He added he intends to keep Alvin Gentry on as Pelicans coach.
“They say a small market can’t win,” Griffin said. “That’s bullshit.”