Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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David Griffin was a big-time hire for the New Orleans Pelicans and apparently, the Pelicans intend to try to become a little more big-time themselves.
Griffin is the Pelicans’ new head of basketball operations after spending time as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, an executive with the Phoenix Suns before that, and most recently, an analyst with NBA TV. But Griffin had been looking for the right fit — namely, a place where he could shape the franchise and roster as he believes he best can do.
With trade talks surrounding star big man Anthony Davis about to resume, the Pelicans wanted the best man in charge. In order for that to happen, they’re willing to deliver Griffin the tools he needs, as relayed by Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate.
“Several league sources told The Advocate that Griffin received assurances from the franchise it would expand the size of the front office, including the scouting department, executive staff and developmental arm,” Kushner reported.
“In fact, Griffin might still hire a general manager and several assistant general managers to work beneath him, though he will be the ultimate decision-maker on basketball moves, answering directly to (Pelicans owner Gayle) Benson.”
Griffin was the GM when the Cavs won their lone championship in 2016. He has been hailed as a leader who can help keep the locker room in a good place and a wise evaluator of talent. His hiring shows a shift in Benson’s approach to the Pelicans, Kushner noted.
“For years, perception around the league, fair or not, was that the Pelicans operated as a low-budget, low-priority unit. They were criticized for employing a relatively small front office, borrowing medical staff from the Saints and using a football general manager as a proxy owner for high-level basketball decisions,” Kushner wrote.
“That era is gone. In just one move, the Pelicans sent an entirely different message to the rest of the NBA.”