Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry, a consultant for the Pelicans, and assistant GM David Booth are candidates to become interim GM, league sources said. For now, coach Alvin Gentry and his staff are safe, sources said. The organization has been pleased how he’s navigated the team under difficult circumstances this season, and he’s expected to finish out the season, sources said.
Was it important to get a statement from ownership this summer knowing where you stand? What’s been their message to you? Alvin Gentry: It’s really, in all honesty, one of those things I never worry about. I go on about my day every day like I’m going to be here long-term, because it’s a decision that I don’t have any bearing on. So I don’t spend any time on it. I spend my time trying to figure out the best way to coach the team and figure out how can we be better and how can we improve. That’s where all my energy is. I’ve never been a guy that worried about things I didn’t have any control over.
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.”
Scott Kushner: Alvin Gentry told Woj: "I feel like I'll be back" with #Pelicans next season. Full quote: pic.twitter.com/XkS8lrInCC
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].”
“It’s not something I spend a lot of time worrying about,” Gentry said about his status. “I’m at the office and I’m working and I’m preparing for the summer and everything else like I would normally do. When the time comes, that decision will be made.”
It is also probable that current head coach Alvin Gentry, who signed a four-year deal in 2015, is let go, as well. Gentry has just one more fully-guaranteed year left on his contract, with the fourth year being at the team’s option.
Justin Verrier: Solomon Hill says he "most definitely" wants the Pelicans coaching staff to return next season.
Alvin Gentry appears to be in a fight to save his job with league sources confirming that he has been told by management that they expect for the team to show signs of progress over the final stretch of the season because the talent issue on the roster has been addressed with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins. According to the Sporting News, no definite decision has made on the future of General Manager Dell Demps either, despite pulling off the blockbuster trade last month to acquire Cousins from the Sacramento Kings.
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.”
One issue in replacing Gentry could be the lack of top candidates on the coaching market now. Gentry has one more year on this contract, worth around $3.3 million, and hasn’t really gotten a chance to coach a full, healthy Pelicans team. If the Pelicans were to make a change, speculation is that the team would prefer to bring in a combination team president/coach. There are few coaches on the market who would warrant a dual job, though.
Shaqtin' A Fool: A Pelicans fan handcuffed himself to the Smoothie King Center to let it be known he wants Alvin Gentry fired. #Shaqtin ⛓🗝 pic.twitter.com/uEQkPS76lM
"I really don't give a s--- about my job status," Gentry told reporters. "I'm gonna work hard, and I'm gonna coach until the day they tell me I'm not the coach here anymore. It doesn't matter. I don't ever worry about that. That is not anything that I spend five seconds worrying about. My worry is that, 'How do I get the guys in the locker room to play at the level that I want 'em to?' That's where all my effort goes. It doesn't go anywhere else."
Scott Kushner: Dell Demps: I feel like we are tied at the hip and we are in this thing together. #Pelicans
Pelicans GM Dell Demps has expressed reservations on numerous occasions this season about last year’s decision to hire Alvin Gentry as coach, making his doubts known to some of the team’s players and staff, and to opponents as well, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical for a video report. It was Demps who originally chose Gentry for the job, as Wojnarowski casts it, though confusion exists over whether Demps or executive vice president of basketball operations Mickey Loomis is in control of the front office, as Zach Lowe of ESPN.com touched on in a trade deadline report.
The possibility of the Pelicans dumping Gentry exists, though it is slim. He will most likely be back in New Orleans to start next year. But if things don’t turn around then, his teenager will hardly be the only one criticizing him.
July 26, 2021 | 7:35 pm EDT Update
Cade Cunningham has been the public favorite to go No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons since the lottery. While Detroit is surely doing its due diligence, is there any reason to doubt that Cunningham will be the first name we hear on Thursday night? Matt Babcock: I expect Cade Cunningham to be the top overall pick in this draft, selected by the Detroit Pistons. However, I’ve been told that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocking the Pistons’ door down. Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 — the Pistons declined. If the Pistons receive an offer better than that one, they may need to seriously consider it.
Scottie Barnes has moved up to No. 4 in your latest mock draft, breaking through what is generally considered to be a four-player top tier of Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs. What inspired you to make that change? Babcock: Scottie Barnes’ draft stock seems to be at an all-time high. There’s a lot of buzz swirling around that he’ll be going to either the Toronto Raptors at No. 4 or Orlando Magic at No. 5. I’m not completely convinced that Barnes will end up in Toronto at No. 4; however, it’s what I decided to go with for now. Another thing worth noting is that I’ve heard Toronto is very high on Evan Mobley, who I do not think will be available at No. 4. I could see a trade between Toronto and either Houston or the Cleveland Cavaliers making sense.
Five teams (Oklahoma City, Orlando, Golden State, New York and Houston) currently own multiple first-round picks. Do you expect movement from any of these squads? Babcock: There has been so much trade chatter this year among those teams, but most of the other teams, too. I fully expect there to be a ton of movement prior to, or during, this year’s draft.
However, two other names also are swirling around. Moses Moody has been someone league sources have said the Grizzlies are very interested in. He’s one of the most intriguing 3-and-D guys in the draft. In his one year at Arkansas, he made 35.8 percent of his 3-pointers, and nearly 50 percent of his shots came from beyond the arc. Nobody is blown away by 35.8 percent, but scouts/executives believe in his shot and are encouraged by the 81.2 percent he shot from the free throw line. Free-throw percentage is often an indicator of someone discovering long-distance accuracy.
Charlotte Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak has been around the NBA for the better part of five decades, dating back to his days in the late 1970s with Washington. So when he witnesses something a bit unusual, as he has for a hefty portion of these past two months since the season ended, it should be noted.
“Our gym has been just full of activity for the last 6-8 weeks,” Kupchak said Monday during his pre-draft availability. “Our coach has done a great job of setting up times for players to come in. Starting with treatment, training room, migrating to the weight room, then going upstairs (to the gym) and getting shots in. Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have fun, they scrimmage. Unlike any gym that I’ve been around in a long, long time.
“Players like living in Charlotte. They are staying here and they are coming in every day to work out. Even on a Friday — which we call a flex day — in which a player might want to get away for a weekend a lot of these guys are still coming in on Friday.”
That includes LiAngelo Ball. As first reported by SI.com’s All Hornets, LaMelo’s older brother is expected to be on Charlotte’s summer league roster when it’s finalized before the team heads off to Las Vegas in just under two weeks. “Melo and his brother LiAngelo — I call him Gelo — he showed up about a month ago,” Kupchak said. “We allow our players to have a workout partner. They can come in during the morning on odd hours or the afternoon or at night and come back. And they would be working out together. And then on scrimmage days, they would scrimmage.”