By: Caleb J. Duncan
The dramatic Pelicans saga continues with another development as the New Orleans team have fired General Manager Dell Demps.
This move comes after All-Star Anthony Davis requested a trade in January. Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, made public comments that resulted in Davis being fined $50k since Paul made the trade request public rather than consult with the team the league. The fine comes as the NBA has begun to deal with players being more outspoken about their unhappiness with teams and general management.
The league will want to make sure that teams and players follow the proper protocol when they want a trade.
Many teams were interested in Anthony Davis due to the level he plays at. He could help any team be an automatic contender due to his prowess on both offense and defense. The biggest attempt to acquire Anthony Davis before the trade deadline was by the Los Angeles Lakers who offered a whopping 6 players for Davis.
The Lakers-Pelicans trade drama was intense as many felt the Pelicans dangled the possibility of trading Davis, only to never return General Manager Magic Johnson’s calls. It turned out the Pelicans never intended to trade Davis to the Lakers and only played along because they felt the Lakers, and by extension, LeBron James, tampered with Anthony Davis and the prospect of bringing him on board.
It seems that the actions of Demps around the trade deadline caught up with him and ownership decided he needed to go. A big reason for this is many teams, after seeing what happened with the Lakers, may be hesitant to open trade talks in the future with Demps in charge. With Davis most likely leaving after the season the Pelicans will want to start fresh in rebuilding their franchise. This means cleaning house of a General Manager who appears to have operated in bad faith.
The firing of Demps could also be done in an attempt to make Davis happy with the Pelicans again. Maybe if Davis sees that the Pelicans will make changes he may not be so quick to leave? That is just speculation at this point, but it’s clear that things between Davis and the team are not getting better right now. Davis recently suffered a shoulder injury versus the Thunder and left the arena, upsetting Pelicans ownership.
Whether the firing of Demps is an attempt to start to rebuild the relationship with Davis is true or not, the Pelicans would have a huge uphill battle in convincing him to stay now that he’s made it publicly known he wants out and wants to move to a winning organization (Pelicans have only made the playoffs three times under Demps and have won only one playoff game since 2010).
Right now it seems like the Pelicans-AD relationship is a dumpster fire and it seems similar to the Kawhi Leonard-Spurs drama from last season in which the team and Leonard’s personal could not agree on how to treat a lingering quad injury which resulted in Leonard making it known he wanted out.
The difference here is that Davis and the Pelicans seem to have agreed that Davis will play for the remainder of the season. Now that Davis has been injured though there may be some questions marks as to whether Davis will return to the court as the season begins to wind down.
Featured Photo Credit: Gerald Herbet/AP
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