The New Orleans Pelicans are seen by many as an up-and-coming organization, mostly on the back of their bright young star, Anthony Davis. However, the team failed to crack 35 wins once again this season (thanks in large part to injuries), and now, there is a report circulating that there could be some potential unrest in their leadership.
In an impressive and thorough examination of front offices around the league, Grantland’s Zach Lowe unearthed this nugget about the situation in New Orleans:
Folks around the league have been wondering for weeks whether the team would bring back Dell Demps, the GM, for the final year on his deal after a disappointing 2013-14 season. The consensus is growing that Demps is likely safe, though ownership needs to see progress next season — and perhaps a playoff berth in the ultracompetitive West.
But Demps and Monty Williams haven’t always seen eye to eye, according to several league sources, and ownership is more committed at this point to Williams as a long-term organizational pillar.
Because of the considerable talent on the Pelicans roster with Davis joined by Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson, many people seem to be rallying against Monty Williams, but a deeper look at the roster may suggest the issue is with Demps. The general manager handed out a widely-panned contract to Evans, matched a far too lucrative offer sheet for Gordon, and then potentially mortgaged the future a bit with the sign-and-trade for Holiday.
Talent will only get you so far in the NBA if it doesn’t gel together and/or stay on the floor by avoiding injuries, and New Orleans has run into both issues in the recent past. It appears that the jobs of both men are safe, but if the Pelicans run into a rough patch to start the 2014-2015 season, that could change rather quickly.