The conventional wisdom around the league is that Dell Demps is in trouble as the GM of the New Orleans Pelicans. Demps is well liked around the league but this is a team with a franchise cornerstone, a current top five (and climbing) NBA player in Anthony Davis, and they do not have the right pieces around him to even make the playoffs this season. The roster certainly does match how coach Alvin Gentry wants to play, nor can it defend.
But is the idea of giving football guy Mickey Loomis — the GM of the Saints — more power the way to do it? From Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, talking about the Saints/Pelicans organization (both owned by Tom Benson, who is not giving them up).
Mickey Loomis, the Saints’ executive vice president and general manager, is likely be given a more overarching role, with a perch that takes him out of the day-to-day decision making of the Saints and puts him in a position that further involves him in the NBA’s Pelicans, also owned by Benson, and involves assuming more macro-level duties with both clubs (the Pelicans have fallen on very hard times as well and are in need of a rebuild).
Loomis officially oversees the Pelicans’ front office now, but Demps has the power to make decisions. It is likely that Loomis would set up a similar situation now — a smart manager knows what he does not know, and Loomis knows he’s not a basketball guy. He would hire a new GM, who would report to him. Hopefully, he will not be too hands on.
The key will be getting a GM on the same page as coach Alvin Gentry and building a team to fit his style. What the Pelicans don’t need is another shift in style of play — and roster to fit it — that would take another few years to take hold.
The Pelicans will have money to spend next summer, with Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson coming off the books (Anderson could be traded before then), plus the bump in the salary cap coming. What they need is a GM to spend that money wisely, getting in a No. 2 star to go with Davis, plus maybe a veteran or two who can help this team defend better, run the court, shoot from three, and just win.