Any changes the New Orleans Pelicans make this summer will come via roster moves.
Because the executorial pecking order isn’t going anywhere.
According to The Advocate‘s Scott Kushner, the Pelicans plan to keep head coach Alvin Gentry and general manager Dell Demps in place as they prepare for next 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.
Both Demps and Gentry are already under contract for the upcoming season and have been operating in their roles continuously, including appearances at last week’s NBA Draft combine in Chicago. Gentry is slated to be the franchise’s representative during Tuesday night’s draft lottery.
This is a good call to make before the draft and free agency, even if you don’t like the decision itself. The Pelicans don’t have to worry about undergoing a front-office or sideline overhaul as they try to retool the roster around DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.
It’s the Cousins trade, per Kushner, that played a significant role in rendering Demps safe. Which makes sense. The Pelicans picked him up for pennies on the dollar. And if Demps is safe, it’s no surprise Gentry joins him. Demps hired him, and it’s probably a bad look to can your choice candidate two years into his tenure. Heading up another coaching search increases the magnification of the already strong microscope under which Demps is being rated.
Plus, the Pelicans don’t have time to tinker with their continuity. Cousins will be a free agent after next season. They need to impress him ahead of his foray onto the open market. Turnover among suits is hardly a good way to do that when the roster is so incomplete.
So, at least in the interim, this was a smart decision. Whether Gentry and Demps are still guiding the Pelicans this time next year depends on what happens in 2017-18, as well as the outcome of Cousins’ free agency.