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Pelicans initially planned to fire GM Dell Demps at the end of the season

Pelicans, Dell Demps

The New Orleans Pelicans fired general manager Dell Demps on Friday in a move that seemed inevitable for quite some time. However, the Pelicans originally did not plan on canning Demps until the offseason, according to Pelicans reporter Scott Kushner.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson had been aggravated over the fact that Demps was appearing to cave to “outside forces,” an obvious reference to the fact that Demps indulged the Los Angeles Lakers in trade talks for Anthony Davis prior to the Feb. 7 deadline in spite of the fact that the Lakers were attempting to sabotage the Pelicans with leaks.

As a result, Benson wants a stronger executive to handle the Davis talks heading into this offseason, which certainly sounds like bad news for the Lakers.

Interestingly enough, New Orleans reportedly rebuffed a godfather offer from Los Angeles before the deadline that was said to include Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Ivica Zubac, Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and multiple first-round draft picks. So, based on Benson’s decision, it seems entirely possible that Demps seriously considered the offer before being overruled by higher-ups.

The Pelicans are reportedly going with Danny Ferry, who had been serving as a special advisor under Demps since 2016, as the interim general manager. Whether or not New Orleans wants him to handle the Davis trade discussions this summer, though, remains to be seen.

Demps had been at the helm for the Pelicans since 2010, leading the team to just three postseason appearances and one playoff series win.