NEW YORK (AFP) – Dell Demps was dropped as general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday after what coach Alvin Gentry called a “dumpster fire” surrounding star Anthony Davis.
Demps, who had served as the team’s general manager since 2010, and the club agreed to a mutual parting, the team said in a statement.
“We will immediately begin the process of restructuring our basketball operations department,” Pelicans owner Gayle Benson said.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, a Pelicans consultant with more than 25 years of National Basketball Association (NBA) experience as a player and executive, was named the club’s interim general manager.
“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 moving forward,” Ferry told The Athletic website.
Demps exited barely a week after the NBA trade deadline passed with Davis still on the Pelicans roster despite saying he wanted a transfer to a title contender.
Davis is averaging 28.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game this season.
Davis said he will not sign a long-term extension with the Pelicans, leaving him to play out the final year of his contract with New Orleans next season or be shipped out for whatever they can get.
The Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly in deep talks for a deal on Davis, but backed off when they kept getting different terms, saying the Pelicans kept wanting more and more even after the Lakers would scramble to assemble an offer.
Asked if the Pelicans bargained in good faith, Lakers President Magic Johnson tersely replied, “No.”
It will be the new general manager who decides among what are expected to be several bids for a Davis trade while he remains under contract.