Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans is hiring Teresa Weatherspoon to its coaching staff, league sources tell ESPN.
Will Guillory: Can confirm @Adrian Wojnarowski's report about Teresa Weatherspoon joining the Pels' coaching stadfy. Griff gets another WNBA legend in the building.
Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is trying to persuade Ujiri to leave the NBA champions to join the Wizards, according to The Athletic's Ethan Strauss. "I hear Barack Obama's a part of that whole Masai recruitment to D.C.," Strauss said on a recent episode of the "Back To Back" podcast. "I've heard Obama wants Masai in D.C. Obama wants to do something with basketball."
The New Orleans Pelicans are hiring former UConn and WNBA star Swin Cash to a senior front office position, league sources told ESPN. The team will name Cash vice president of basketball operations and team development, sources say. She will scout, help guide player development on and off the floor, and assume other roles within the organization.
Will Guillory: Sources with @Shams Charania: Pelicans and Director of Player Personnel David Booth have mutually parted ways. New Orleans added Trajan Langdon as GM on Sunday. Booth has been respected member of the front office for close to a decade.
The New Orleans Pelicans have hired Trajan Langdon as the team’s General Manager, it was announced today by Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin.
David Griffin: “Trajan is a tremendous talent and shares in our vision of what it means to be a part of the Pelican family, on and off the floor. We are excited to add he and his family to our leadership group as we continue building upon that vision.”
Shams Charnia: New Orleans has agreed on deal with Brooklyn assistant general manager Trajan Langdon to make him the new GM working alongside David Griffin, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium .
Fred Katz: The Wizards, for those interested, never hit up Langdon for their open job, which I always found interesting considering the search firm consultant they’re using is the same one New Orleans did.
"For whatever reason, we have not created a culture that fosters a consistently winning franchise," she said. "The way we have been operating has not worked, and we have not adapted to the realities of today’s NBA." The Pelicans have since overhauled their front office by hiring David Griffin as executive vice president of basketball operations and firing general manager Dell Demps.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: After meeting with New Orleans' top executive David Griffin about a high-ranking front office job, assistant GM Trent Redden will stay with Clippers. Redden has great belief in Griffin, but is still too connected to LAC group and the unfinished business remaining there.
Andrew Greif: From @BA_Turner and me: Clippers assistant GM Trent Redden is staying with the team after being courted by New Orleans for its GM job, multiple sources confirmed. Clippers’ front office has now retained GM Michael Winger and Redden in recent weeks despite interest across league.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Redden staying w/ owner Steve Ballmer/President Lawrence Frank comes after GM Michael Winger turned down a chance to interview for Minnesota's President of Basketball Operations job. Clippers are operating like a big market, destination franchise -- and those are hard to leave.
Scott Kushner: I’m told potential Pelicans front office addition Trent Redden is in New Orleans this week. It doesn’t mean his hire is certain. David Griffin is holding a large-scale meeting with the team’s incumbent staff later this week, which should help sort out who is in/who is out.
Andrew Lopez: Can confirm that Trent Redden is in New Orleans right now. Met with Griffin already. Redden is currently the No. 3 shot caller in L.A. w/ the Clippers. Could potentially be the new Pelicans GM if all goes well. Griffin will continue to assemble his team in the coming weeks.
"Griff is a guy who, when you call him, he calls you back," one prominent agent told SN. "He'll listen to whatever your issue is, whatever your player's issue is, no matter how small. So he has that reputation, and that's not something that New Orleans has had over the years. "I think he wants to get that team back to that basic thing, just showing how you treat players day in and day out. That's what you want a team and an organization to be."
The New Orleans Pelicans have been granted permission to discuss a senior front-office role with LA Clippers assistant general manager Trent Redden, league sources told ESPN. Redden and David Griffin, the Pelicans' new executive vice president of basketball operations, worked closely together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where they were a part of winning the 2016 NBA championship. At his introductory news conference Wednesday, Griffin said his plan would be to prioritize the hiring of talented executives over filling specific roles and titles.
Around the league, it had been presumed that Griffin would be aggressive in finding a way to reunite with Redden, a well-regarded front-office executive. Redden has been an assistant GM with the Clippers since shortly after his departure from Cleveland in 2017. When Griffin didn't come to terms on a new deal to stay on as the Cavaliers' top basketball executive, Redden left the organization soon after. Redden worked his way up from an intern to a top front-office executive during his 11 years with the Cavaliers.
Griffin is a two-time cancer survivor, having started chemotherapy the day the Cavs realized they’d won the lottery (by way of the Clippers) in 2011. It was the pick Cleveland used on Kyrie Irving. Words like “spirit” and “fit” are biggies with Griff. The first trade he made as Cavs’ GM (having taken over for Grant before the trade deadline in 2014) was for Spencer Hawes, a stretch-5 to play with Irving.
Jake Madison: Griffin says he has people in mind to add to the organization, but didn't make a demand in terms of specific names. He'd was specific on the 'types' of people he'd add to the team and wanted to make sure the bandwidth will be there to bring them in.
Salary and financial resources for basketball ops were not the problem for Griffin in Cleveland; power structure and freedom to operate were. Pelicans owner Gayle Benson appears to have given Griffin the power in New Orleans that he couldn’t get from Gilbert. He is permitted to hire a GM on the Pelicans; his former chief aide in Cleveland, Trent Redden, is the likely choice.
Even though people around the organization have pushed back on this claim in the past, there has been a strong perception around the league that New Orleans’ inability to consistently construct a playoff-caliber roster around Davis is because the team hasn’t cared enough to put the right people in place behind the scenes to make that happen.
Scott Kushner: I’ve talked to some league sources, who confirmed David Griffin received assurances the Pelicans are making a larger investment into their front office under his leadership, so expect to see added staff and more layers, including a bolstered scouting department.
David Griffin has agreed to a deal to become the Executive VP of Basketball Operations for the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told ESPN on Friday. The immediate mandate for Griffin is unmistakable: Navigate a trade of All-NBA star Anthony Davis that'll shape the future of the franchise. Griffin will have full control of basketball operations, league sources said.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry worked with Griffin with the Suns, and he interviewed Griffin for the Cavaliers' head coaching job that eventually went to David Blatt. Gentry is a favorite of the organization, and he was expected to return next season regardless of the front office hiring, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Pelicans and David Griffin have an agreement that he will run the franchise's basketball operations, but...they're still working on the job title, league source tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: David Griffin is finalizing a deal to become the next President of Basketball Operations with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Pelicans and David Griffin have an agreement in principle, league sources tell ESPN. Griffin will take over the franchise and now oversee the trade process for Anthony Davis.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Danny Ferry has pulled out of the Pelicans GM process, he tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans interim GM Danny Ferry is meeting with franchise officials today about the permanent GM job, league sources tell ESPN. Ferry is the final interview among several candidates, including David Griffin, Larry Harris, Trajan Langdon, Gersson Rosas and Tommy Sheppard.
Jeff Duncan: The Pelicans began conducting interviews for their vacant GM position at 9 a.m. this morning. Have confirmed the following candidates are on their list: Danny Ferry, David Griffin, Larry Harris, Trajan Langdon, Gersson Rosas, Tommy Sheppard.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans has been granted permission to interview several front office candidates for GM job, including Golden State’s Larry Harris, Brooklyn’s Trajan Langdon and Houston’s Gersson Rosas, league sources tell ESPN. There are more candidates expected to be in the process.
Have you heard anything about the Suns GM / President position? The names I’ve heard are McHale and Paxson. I’m very jealous of the names around the Pelicans’ search: David Griffin, Danny Ferry, and Trajan Langdon. Sam Amick: @Austin D. Admittedly, I haven't dived into the Suns situation (although I'd always recommend reading our Gina Mizell on that front). As for the Pels, they're using a high-end search firm that has everything to do with the names you're hearing. It's a smart, obvious way to go - and the Suns, as you may have heard, have struggled to make those sorts of moves for these past few years.
Mike Zarren’s name has surfaced as a potential target for the Pelicans and for Washington if the Wizards’ owner, Ted Leonsis, responds to his team’s unsightly (and, to be fair, injury-filled) 30-44 campaign with the management shake-up he has long resisted. Ernie Grunfeld was installed as Washington’s president of basketball operations in June 2003.
Fletcher Mackel: Today @PelicansNBA owner Gayle Benson said the franchise will soon look at 5-6 candidates for the GM job. Talking to multiple @NBA sources I trust, I think four of the people Gayle is referencing (under consideration) are: Danny Ferry. David Griffin. Trajan Langdon. Gersson Rosas.
Scott Kushner: Sources: The Pelicans process to hire a new general manager is expected to ramp up next week. A search firm has been parsing out candidates and is expected to provide ownership a list of 5-10 names next week. From there, they can conduct interviews, pick finalists.
Griffin, who won a title in Cleveland with LeBron James, was considering an offer to become Knicks GM two years ago before turning down the job. According to a Knicks source, Griffin lost interest in the job when Mills signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a free agent contract while the Knicks were negotiating with Griffin to run the team. Griffin, who was led to believe he’d have full autonomy, quickly learned that Mills wasn’t about to relinquish any power. The message was that they would share the duties of running the Knicks. No one knows if that experience would make Griffin reluctant to deal with the Knicks’ front office. Those who know Griffin say his personality is to simply look for the best deal and, if the Knicks offered the most attractive package, he would take it.
Zarren’s name should worry both the Knicks and Lakers greatly. He is the right-hand man to Celtics GM Danny Ainge, who is expected to pursue Davis this summer. Besides the fact that Boston has the assets to put together a deal that can blow away the competition, Ainge’s relationship with Zarren would give the Celtics a significant edge.
Ramona Shelburne: As @Adrian Wojnarowski noted, Pels owner was livid at the scene last night. According to a source, it was communicated to Demps that AD and Rich Paul left to get an MRI on his shoulder, but that message was not relayed to head coach Alvin Gentry. He found out from a reporter’s Q
Ramona Shelburne: Later that night, AD texted Gentry to explain that he’d left to get an MRI on the shoulder, according to a source.
After injuring his left shoulder late in the first half, sources say Davis left with Paul in order to undergo an MRI at the nearby Ochsner Medical Center (the injury, as reported by The Athletic on Thursday night, was deemed a muscle contusion and it remains unclear if he’ll play in the All-Star game). According to a source close to Davis, this decision to leave the game early had been relayed in real-time to Demps – but not from Demps to Gentry, whose postgame media scrum was the latest evidence of the frustration this Davis situation has caused.
Sam Amick: Also in the @TheAthletic piece: While Danny Ferry will have his chance to make his case as the interim, New Orleans will hire a search firm soon to vet high-level outside candidates. They want to do this the right way.
David Aldridge: Danny Ferry’s committed to be interim GM for the rest of the season in New Orleans, while everyone, including him and ownership, understands the final call on whether he becomes the full-time GM will happen after the season ends. Pels will still look at external candidates.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced that after discussions with Dell Demps this morning, the team and Demps have decided to mutually part ways. “We will immediately begin the process of restructuring our basketball operations department,” stated Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson. “This will include a comprehensive, but confidential, search aided by outside consultants to identify a new leader of our basketball operations, directly reporting to me.” Danny Ferry will assume the team’s interim general manager duties.
Scott Kushner: Interim Pels GM Danny Ferry: "My focus for the rest of the season is to provide leadership to our basketball operations group and give Alvin and our players the resources and support to positively impact the culture and foundation now and going forward."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Ferry has worked with the Pels in a part-time capacity as a consultant, but his most recent work as GM for the Atlanta Hawks was viewed league-wide as a clinic on how to reshape a roster and franchise without bottoming out into the lottery.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans consultant Danny Ferry -- former Hawks and Cavs GM -- is the likely choice for Pelicans interim GM, league sources tell ESPN. Details are still being finalized.
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.
New Orleans owner Gayle Benson has been angry over the Davis trade demand and her belief that "outside forces" are trying to push the franchise into decisions that don't make sense for them, league sources said. Her mandate has been to "take back control from outside forces," one league source told ESPN. Benson has been adamant with the organization to find a pathway to sustainable winning in one of the league's smallest markets, and plans to be aggressive in pursuing the best available candidates to oversee basketball operations, league sources said.
Benson owns the Pelicans and New Orleans Saints NFL team, and had Demps reporting to Saints GM Mickey Loomis. The Pelicans are eager to conduct a search that will attract a top basketball executive who'll take on a more prominent role in the franchise. Benson is promising to pursue a top-level GM to revitalize a franchise that's coming to a crossroads with the Davis trade. Among preliminary possible candidates, league sources tell ESPN: Former Cleveland GM David Griffin.
Scott Kushner: The Pelicans have known removing Demps was a move that was coming for several weeks, per a variety of sources . They initially hoped to do it at the end of the season.
Kyle Goon: Here’s what Lakers team president Magic Johnson said about whether the team was entering good faith negotiations. The question was not specifically phrased about New Orleans, but it was implied. “No. ... But at the end of the day, what happened happened.” pic.twitter.com/1Jahd32ZmF
Dave McMenamin: Magic Johnson on if the Lakers’ lack of success with New Orleans could effect his team’s approach moving forward: “That’s not going to change our plans this summer. It’s a great (free agency) class and we just want to get one of them.”
As the NBA trade deadline looms within a week, the Lakers' immediate pursuit of All-Star forward Anthony Davis is fraught with obstacles -- including the fact that New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps has yet to return a call to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, league sources told ESPN. The sluggish response time is perhaps a message that New Orleans places some responsibility on the Lakers for Davis' trade request, or perhaps an indication to Davis and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, that the franchise doesn't plan to easily acquiesce on a trade request to partner with LeBron James.
Demps is picking up his phone and returning calls -- just not from the Lakers, sources said. From Paul George to Leonard to Davis, the Lakers' front office is growing accustomed to icy receptions from teams enduring All-Star trade demands with a full year left on their contracts.
With Boston prohibited from trading for Davis this season, going to the Lakers presents Davis a chance to make something of this 2018-19 season. The Celtics and other suitors are curious as to whether the potential Lakers-or-bust stance softens once the deadline passes, sources said.
Charles L.: Hey Will, any sense on the teams sense of urgency in trying to improve the roster? Are they concerned with small moves to improve or are they looking at big fish? William Guillory: @Charles L. There is a major sense of urgency and I would say it's been that way for some time now. I just believe they are waiting as long as they possibly can to gain some wiggle room with a few of the bad teams so they can land a bigger fish than some think they can get. We saw Demps jump into the Jimmy Butler negotiations earlier this season, so that shows what type of player he wants to add. Like I said earlier, I doubt that first-round pick gets moved without some kind of significant return coming back to New Orleans.
How about Chris Paul, whose trade to the Lakers, Stern vetoed in 2011 during his time as de facto owner of the New Orleans franchise (then the Hornets, now the Pelicans)? "I didn't do a great job of explaining it at the time. There was a trade that [New Orleans GM] Dell Demps wanted us to approve and I said heck no, but he had told [Rockets GM] Daryl Morey and [then Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak he had authority to do it and he didn't. I said no. We just settled a lockout and you want me to approve a basketball trade?"
The reaction was swift but Stern held firm. "[Demps] had agreed to [trade Paul to the Lakers for] Kevin Martin and Luis Scola or something, and I said we can do better than that.... And the next trade was [to the Clippers for] Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu and what we thought was a really great draft pick, the 10th pick, which turned out to be Austin Rivers. At least those three and someone else [center Chris Kaman]. But Dell Demps is a lousy general manager and none of those players are currently with the team anymore, and he may lose Anthony Davis."
Scott Kushner: Gentry: “Mrs. Benson is going to make this thing a success. She’s 100 percent committed to doing everything we possibly can to making this a championship team. As long as that’s the case, I love being here." "My kids love being here. At @IsidoreNewman."
But a source who worked directly with Tom Benson during his purchase of the Pelicans said over the weekend that there was no doubt that Gayle Benson would keep both teams for the foreseeable future. “There may be some changes later, but nothing imminent or early,” the source said. And any notion of the Pelicans moving any time soon is tempered by the reality that the Pels, thanks to the league’s revenue sharing plan, don’t really have much financial incentive to sell.
July 27, 2021 | 11:06 am EDT Update
New York will pursue Evan Fournier in free agency and are considering making a push for Spencer Dinwiddie, according to sources. Dinwiddie declined his player option for $12.3 million with Brooklyn Nets to become an unrestricted free agent.
The Boston Celtics acquired Fournier from the Orlando Magic in March. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent. The French guard, who helped his native country upset the U.S. in the Olympics earlier this week, is expected to ask for around $18 million per season, while Dinwiddie’s asking price is $25 million per, sources say.
If they lose Ball and miss on Lowry, the Pelicans might be on the lookout for Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie is looking for big money; in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, he tossed out a five-year, $125 million contract as what he would be looking for to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
A reasonable number of these players are expected to move in August with potentially more being involved in trades. Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves are among those who so far have been floated on the trade market.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Bryn Forbes is declining his player option for the 2021-22 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, sources told ESPN on Tuesday. Forbes played a significant role off the bench as the Bucks delivered the franchise’s first NBA championship in 50 years. He had his most efficient NBA season in several offensive categories, including 3-point percentage and true shooting percentage. Forbes, 28, was fourth in the NBA in 3-point shooting (45.2%) — and third best among players with 200-plus attempts. Forbes averaged 12.2 points on 48% 3-point shooting in February when starting guard Jrue Holiday was sidelined.
Davis suffered a knee sprain in Game 3 but played through the pain in Game 4; however, he took a hard fall in Game 4 and suffered a groin strain. From that moment on, the balance of the firepower tilted towards Phoenix, who ensued to blow out the Lakers in the final games of the series. Though it’ll never be known how things would’ve transpired with a healthy Davis, Metta World Peace believes the Lakers would’ve advanced when discussing his thoughts on the Bucks-Suns matchup and Giannis Antetokounmpo being a great player, via Chris Sheridan of BasketballNews.com: “Now imagine, Giannis, one of the greatest players in the league, doesn’t really have to go up against the greatest team, then you would say Giannis was going to win. Because the Lakers got hurt. The Lakers were going to beat Phoenix before Anthony Davis got hurt.”
The Dallas Mavericks are on the verge of hiring Igor Kokoskov to join Jason Kidd’s coaching staff, sources confirmed to ESPN. Kokoskov, whose two decades of NBA experience includes a one-season stint as the Phoenix Suns’ head coach, has a strong relationship with Mavs superstar Luka Doncic stemming from his time coaching the Slovenian national team. Kokoskov coached Slovenia for two years, culminating with the EuroBasket 2017 title, when Doncic and Goran Dragic led the nation to its first championship in that event.
Ahead of the 2021 NBA draft, projected top overall pick Cade Cunningham has signed a multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Nike. After a COVID-19-impacted market found a majority of last season’s rookies playing out the 2020-21 season without a sneaker deal, brands are now returning to aggressively sign top players heading into this week’s draft. Nike had its eyes set on Cunningham, who starred at Nike-sponsored Oklahoma State University and has long had an affinity for the brand. “More than anything, they show that athletes are more than just athletes,” Cunningham told ESPN. “They really put the right message out for people to see. That was important to me. … I felt like it was a perfect match for me.”