The Dell Demps era in New Orleans ended abruptly on Friday, with Pelicans ownership firing the former NBA player after the Anthony Davis took another downturn. Davis, who requested a trade from the Pelicans but was not moved before the deadline, has yo-yo’d in and out of the Pelicans roster since the trade deadline passed.
Davis got booed by the home crowd and the Pelicans reportedly didn’t want to play Davis for fear of injury, but the NBA may have threatened a fine if the team wouldn’t play him. And so Davis played on Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He then literally left the building at the half after reportedly suffering a shoulder injury.
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry called the situation a “dumpster fire,” and he’s certainly not wrong. Which is why it wasn’t all that surprising when Demps was fired. And the Pelicans worked quickly to hire from within and get a new general manager in place. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Danny Ferry, who was working with the Pelicans in an advisory role, will take over as the team’s general manager.
Ferry will be responsible for essentially trading Davis to a contender this summer and trying to get back some assets the team can use to rebuild. And as Wojnarowski noted, part of Ferry’s appeal to the Pelicans is his success in building the Atlanta Hawks without becoming a lottery team and essentially tanking.
The Pelicans didn’t make things official on Friday, but they did issue a statement saying the organization will “restructure” its management in the coming weeks.