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David Griffin expects Pelicans to be buyers during the trade deadline

David Griffin, Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans executive vice-president of basketball operations David Griffin expects to be aggressive once the trade deadline comes around, already expecting his team to be a buyer in the market.

“People are gonna be like, ‘What the f*** are they doing?’” said Griffin, according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. “We’re trying to win basketball games!”

While most executives warn against being over-eager for victories and trading assets to fish out a seventh or eighth playoff spot, Griffin stuck to his guns — saying neither he nor his coach, nor his players, believe in tanking for assets.

“We don’t have guys that are complacent champions,” said Griffin. “We’ve got really f***ing hungry winners.”

Only one afternoon after Anthony Davis requested a trade, head coach Alvin Gentry and veteran point guard Jrue Holiday made their bond that much stronger.

“I’m not a tanker,” said Holiday, getting the nod from his coach. “I don’t see it,” said Gentry. “It takes you from 6.8% to 7% [lottery odds].”

The Pelicans were forced to play Davis, despite the tumult it could create, pegging down his minutes from the mid 30s to the low 20s in hopes to abide by NBA rules and give their young players an opportunity. New Orleans still won a few games the rest of the way, and despite not having the best of odds in the lottery, they wound up with the first overall pick, which materialized in Zion Williamson.

Griffin is banking that doing the right things for the right reasons will earn him a favor from the basketball gods. So if he feels like trading is what’s right for his team, then let the trades begin.