Marc Stein: The Pelicans have officially hired Chris Finch and, per league sources, have offered a front-office position to former assistant Phil Weber
The following is a statement from New Orleans Pelicans Owner Tom Benson and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Mickey Loomis: “After careful and thorough review of basketball operations, we have made the determination that the best course of action as we move forward into the 2017-18 season is to continue under the leadership of General Manager Dell Demps and Head Coach Alvin Gentry.”
“We will continue to evaluate important roles on both the administrative and coaching staffs which will be resolved at the appropriate time. Our organizational expectations and goals have not changed and all of our efforts are focused on putting together a playoff caliber roster entering training camp and ultimately into the season,” said Benson. “The end result as we move forward – playoffs and winning a championship for our fans.”
The New Orleans Pelicans power structure will remain in place entering the 2017-18 season. General manager Dell Demps and coach Alvin Gentry have both retained their posts, league sources informed The Advocate last week. The Pelicans declined to comment on the matter.
Gentry, Demps and various league sources have all said it’s a “day-to-day” situation, indicating there’s no pressure from the calendar to choose when the team will make a firm decision about whether to keep the Pelicans’ structure in place or move in a new direction for 2017-18.
So, the overarching question remains what Loomis, Benson and Pelicans’ upper management believe is the highest priority and if they see a path to success with the current power structure in place, even if that structure stays in place for the short term. There are those within the organization who have offered a positive stance for stability at this critical juncture. And at this point, there’s no telling when the decision will be released.
“I walk in here every day excited about my job,” Demps said on April 14. “I don’t ever feel the pressure or anything like that. “Right now, we’re in evaluation mode. We’re going to sit back and meet with Alvin. We’re going to sit back and go over the whole season. I think we’ve had a lot of challenges this year. But I do like the direction and path that we’re headed (on).”
But with just a 34-48 record to show for it, most of the discussion centered on which of the principals will be back for the third consecutive bid to reclaim the heights of 2014-15’s playoff run, starting with the two fielding the questions. “I walk in here every day excited about my job,” Demps said, echoing what he said after last season’s 30-52 campaign when faced with a similar line of questioning. “I don’t ever feel the pressure, or anything like that. “Right now, we’re in evaluation mode. We’re going to sit back and meet with Alvin. We’re going to sit back and go over the whole season. I think we’ve had a lot of challenges this year. But I do like the direction and path that we’re headed [on].”
“I walk in here every day excited about my job,” Demps said, echoing what he said after last season’s 30-52 campaign when faced with a similar line of questioning. “I don’t ever feel the pressure, or anything like that. Right now, we’re in evaluation mode. We’re going to sit back and meet with Alvin. We’re going to sit back and go over the whole season. I think we’ve had a lot of challenges this year. But I do like the direction and path that we’re headed [on].”
The Pelicans have long been rumored to be the next stop for former Piston’s executive Joe Dumars, who is a Shreveport, Louisiana native and has close ties to the ownership and leadership of the Pelicans and Saints organization. League sources said recently that Dumars has been active in the NBA front office circles, scouting players and reconnecting to the process.
In the larger sense, though, this might be a crucial week for Gentry’s tenure in New Orleans. A league source told Sporting News that though no definite decision has been made on the future of the tandem of Gentry and general manager Dell Demps with the Pelicans, failure to secure that playoff spot (which has been all but lost) or at least to show “significant progress with this roster as it stands” likely will move the Pelicans to oust Gentry. Demps is more likely to stay, but that’s not a certainty, either.
“There’s some feeling in the front office the record being what it is, the writing is on the wall,” the source said. “Might as well make a change in April and start searching. But is that really fair? Can’t you give Dell an offseason to get some shooters, give Alvin some time to remake the offense? They’ve at least got to give this playoff spot a run and that might buy more time. That’s sort of where it stands.”
Of course, Demps and Gentry live in the real world. They have no political backing to tank unless Davis suffers a long-term injury in the next few weeks. Miss the playoffs, and both are on shaky ground. (Don't look for Danny Ferry, currently an advisor to the front office, to take over in any shakeup, sources say.)
Justin Verrier: Pelicans have hired Alex Kline (@therecruitscoop) as a basketball ops assistant. Kline made nat'l news in HS for his recruiting website.
There has been a long running rumor that former Detroit Pistons executive Joe Dumars could eventually be brought in to oversee basketball operations for the Pelicans, but team sources continue to say there is an unwavering commitment to Demps internally. However, it was a really odd summer for Demps, and his status was considered up in the air for most of the offseason.
Demps, entering his seventh season as GM in New Orleans, spoke in more general terms about his own job status. "This is pro sports," he said. "There's always going to be speculation. I'm fortunate; I work for an organization that supports and believes in me. They understand we went through harsh circumstances last season, and they've been great. They've been great to my family, they've been great here. I've always felt welcome here. I want to be here, and I want to be here as long as they want me."
Danny Ferry is back to work after two years away from the NBA, and New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said he is happy to have his former San Antonio Spurs colleague on board. "For the last two years, after the incident that happened in Atlanta, he and I have been in constant contact," Demps said in his first media session since March 25. "I've actually been using him as a sounding board. Now I'm really just making it official right now, having him come aboard with us."
Sources tell ESPN.com's Marc Stein that the Pelicans hired Ferry at the urging of general manager Dell Demps, who worked closely with Ferry in San Antonio before his move to New Orleans. Sources said Demps has turned to Ferry as a sounding board frequently over the past two years about various Pelicans moves, leading Demps to pitch New Orleans ownership on bringing Ferry into the organization.
Jeff Zillgitt: Adam Silver on Pelicans/Danny Ferry: "Danny Ferry has years of experience in the game, an excellent basketball mind and a terrific track record. I am confident he'll be a valuable contributor to the Pelicans organization!"
Scott Kushner: SOURCES: This is not a move to go above Dell Demps' head. This was Demps' decision. He wanted an advisor w/ exec experience. #Pelicans
Scott Kushner: SOURCES: The job was offered by Demps to Ferry, with approval of ownership. Entirely Demps' decision. They've been close for many years.
Scott Kushner: SOURCES: #Pelicans new advisor Danny Ferry will split his time between #NOLA and Atlanta. Won't be full-time in Pels offices.
Scott Kushner: SOURCES: Ferry and Demps were very close with the Spurs, have spoken often for past two years. Demps approached ownership, who approved idea
Jeff Zillgitt: Dell Demps and Danny Ferry have known each other for 12 years. Mutual respect there and Demps has someone to trust and lean on.
Marc J. Spears: The Pelicans have hired former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry in a special advisor role, sources told @TheUndefeated.
Brett Dawson: Source confirms @Marc J. Spears report that the Pelicans have hired Danny Ferry in a special adviser’s role.
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say that the Pelicans are hiring Danny Ferry at the urging of GM Dell Demps, who worked closely with Ferry in San Antonio.
Scott Kushner: I know, some really illuminating stuff. But, considering those are Loomis' first public utterances of Dell's name in a while, it matters
Yet, Demps is conducting business as usual in getting the franchise prepared for the upcoming NBA Draft. Demps and several members of his basketball operations staff are in Chicago for the five-day NBA Draft combine, which is set to begin on Wednesday afternoon in Chicago. Although the combine workouts won't start until Thursday and Friday, Demps was expected to concentrate his efforts on interviewing a number of targeted prospects on Wednesday, sources say.
New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president Mickey Loomis declined to address Dell Demps' future with the franchise during his Saints pre-draft news conference on Wednesday. When asked if Demps will remain on as general manager, Loomis' response was, 'That's not for today. This is about the Saints.'
Since the Pelicans' ended with a disastrous 30-52 record, there has been speculation that Demps was on the hot seat and the franchise could move in a different direction. But a source said last week that Demps is "definitely coming back" for his seventh season. The Pelicans officials, however, have not said anything publicly regarding Demps' future.
Scott Kushner: Nothing has changed regarding Demps' current job status. He's running the Pels front office. Nearly everyone in the org expects him back
Scott Kushner: #Pelicans ownership/mgmt will obviously have final say, but those close to situation feel Demps will return. Press Conf on Mon.
Brett Dawson: Per a source, the Pelicans have NOT made a decision on the future of Dell Demps or any other part of basketball operations. (1/3)
Brett Dawson: As @Scott Kushner and I reported yesterday, been no indication that Demps will be fired. But a final decision has not been made. (3/3)
Brett Dawson: "Careful evaluation" of Pelicans operations still being made, as is the case after each season, a source said. (2/3)
There has been speculation since last week that Demps is on the hot seat and the franchise could move in a different direction. When a team official was asked on Wednesday if Demps was currently working on draft preparations his response was, "I don't know."
However, a source within the franchise last week denied a report from the Racine Journal that speculated former Detroit Pistons player and executive Joe Dumars could be hired by the Pelicans as their new president of basketball operations, replacing Demps. The report also speculated that Dumars would in turn hire current Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond to assume similar duties with the Pelicans.
Two of the more significant changes could involve Bucks general manager John Hammond and Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. A year ago, there was considerable chatter Hammond would move on, only to see him receive a one-year extension. But several NBA sources contend Hammond will soon be relocating to another zip code — either being fired or leaving on his own volition. Talk among some league officials is Hammond will end up in perhaps a similar position with New Orleans. The Pelicans figure to be doing some serious housecleaning themselves and hire Louisiana native, former Detroit Pistons “Bad Boy’’ and Hammond confidante Joe Dumars as the president of basketball operations.
September 22, 2021 | 5:56 pm EDT Update
Ian Begley: Warriors governor Joe Lacob fined $50,000 for violating anti-tampering rule, NBA says: pic.twitter.com/wkE4IQZCGc
September 22, 2021 | 4:58 pm EDT Update
Michael Scotto: The Utah Jazz have agreed to a two-way deal with Justin James, agents Austin Walton and Adam Papas of @nxtsportsagency told HoopsHype.
Ben Anderson: Justin James is entering his third NBA season after two years in Sacramento. He was the 40th pick of the 2019 NBA draft out of @wyo_mbb and has career averages of 3.2 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.6 assists. At 6’7, 190 lbs, he shoots 44% from the floor and 34% from three.
Fans planning to head to TD Garden to watch the Bruins or Celtics this season — as well attend concerts — will need to pack a copy of their coronavirus vaccination proof or get a negative COVID-19 test.
TD Garden officials said on Wednesday that starting Sept. 30 guests 12 years old and older will need to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative rapid or PCR coronavirus test. Self-administered or over-the-counter test results will not be accepted. Officials said the timeline on tests — whether they need to have been within 24 or 72 hours of the event — is yet to be determined.