Report: Pelicans keeping Dell Demps, Alvin Gentry for next season

Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images
3 Comments

The Pelicans dragged their feet on deciding the future of general manager Dell Demps and head coach Alvin Gentry.

The verdict?

Scott Kushner for The New Orleans Advocate:

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.

A no comment – what an enthusiastic display of confidence in Demps and Gentry.

Demps saved his job by trading for DeMarcus Cousins during the All-Star break. It was a heist, but part of the reason it made so much sense for New Orleans: Demps had built such a lousy supporting cast around Anthony Davis, there was little to lose in trading for the risky Cousins.

With Cousins entering unrestricted free agency next year, the Pelicans’ priority should have been building the best environment for him – not rewarding the person who traded for him. Though those ideas are far from mutually exclusive, I’m not sure the former would have led to Demps’ return – or Gentry’s.

Gentry is a fine coach who likes to play an up-tempo spread offense, but that doesn’t mesh with Cousins and Davis. Maybe Gentry can adjust, but there’s a good chance the ideal coach for this team was someone else.

The Pelicans were up and down after the trade deadline, and perhaps Gentry will find a more sustainable solution to using Cousins and Davis with a full offseason to prepare. Likewise, Demps could spend the summer upgrading the roster around his two stars.

There just isn’t enough in the lengthy track records of Gentry and Demps to hold confidence they’re up to this task. New Orleans very well could be in a similar boat – out of the playoffs with spotty management and coaching – at this time next year. But then, Cousins will be entering free agency with time mostly run out on swaying him to stay in New Orleans.