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David Griffin says New Orleans situation is different from Cavs, emphasizes long-term plan

David Griffin

Although they did not make the playoffs this season, the New Orleans Pelicans are likely to remain in the NBA spotlight well into the summer. While the Pelicans failed to find a suitable trade offer for superstar forward Anthony Davis before the trade deadline, the team will almost surely shop Davis to interested teams this summer as it undergoes full-scale rebuilding process.

New Orleans hired former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin to be their new executive vice president of basketball operations last Friday, lending some championship experience to a franchise that has not made it out of the first round of the playoffs since the 2007-08 season. But while Griffin helped to bring LeBron James back to Cleveland and ultimately win a title in 2016, he iterated that the situation in New Orleans is entirely different.

Griffin elaborated on the process ahead in an article by Pelicans beat writer Jim Eichenhofer on NBA.com:

“It’s not easy to just flip a switch and win a championship tomorrow, but if you start building to the ethos of the city, you can build something that attracts the right people,” David Griffin said of his vision for New Orleans. “We want to build something that lasts, and this city gives us a chance to do that. Cleveland’s the same way – everyone’s there because they love it. Everyone’s there because they have incredible passion for it. That’s what everybody is here for.”

The Pelicans pulled off a stunning sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in last year’s playoffs, but a slow start and injuries to both Davis and stalwart guard Jrue Holiday essentially ended New Orleans’ chances of making a playoff push.

Griffin will now be in charge of what could be one of the biggest trade sweepstakes in NBA history.