The New Orleans Pelicans have fired General Manager Dell Demps in the wake of a tumultuous trade season with franchise superstar Anthony Davis. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news this morning.
New Orleans has parted ways with GM Dell Demps, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2019
Pelicans management and ownership have spent the last month at the center of a firestorm after Davis indicated that remaining with the team is not in his plans. New Orleans got into a media tug-of-war with the Los Angeles Lakers at the NBA Trade Deadline, supposedly Davis’ preferred destination. No trade resulted.
Davis’ status has remained spotty since. He’s averaged fewer than 20 minutes over the Pelicans’ last five games and is currently listed as day-to-day with a muscle contusion in his shoulder. Wojnarowski suggests that this contributed to frustration in the Pelicans’ upper ranks.
Ownership was livid with an injured Anthony Davis leaving arena during Thursday night’s game, sources say. Gayle Benson is telling associates she wants an overhaul of Pelicans and a search for a GM to take command of Davis trade talks and the reshaping of team’s future.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2019
Dissatisfaction with Demps does not appear to affect the status of other New Orleans executives.
Ownership and senior management have been pleased with coach Alvin Gentry and his staff and believe players are largely responding in what’s been a tumultuous stretch, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2019
Organization is discussing internal candidates for interim GM job, including David Booth and Danny Ferry, sources tell ESPN. Pelicans planning to be aggressive in marketplace to hire a high-level basketball executive. https://t.co/qYfoc5wqSB— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2019
New Orleans’ 26-33 record leaves them 13th in the 15-team Western Conference. They made it to the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the process.