The Pelicans have hired former Cavaliers and Hawks general manager Danny Ferry in a special advisor role, the team announced on Wednesday.

"I am excited to announce Danny Ferry has accepted our offer to join the New Orleans Pelicans basketball operations staff as a special advisor," Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said in a release. "Danny's experience, insight and achievements will be a welcomed addition to the Pelicans as we continue our quest to improve the team."

Demps offered Ferry the job with approval of ownership, a source said. The two have a close relationship, a source said, and have spoken often the past two years.

Ferry will live and primarily work from Atlanta, a source said.

"Danny Ferry has years of experience in the game, an excellent basketball mind and a terrific track record," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. "I am confident he'll be a valuable contributor to the Pelicans organization."

Ferry, 49, spent five seasons as the Cavaliers' general manager and three as GM of the Hawks. His management career also includes two stints in the front office in San Antonio, from 2003-05 and 2010-12.

In September of 2014, Ferry took a leave of absence from the Hawks following the release of an audio recording of a conference call in which Ferry read aloud a description from a scouting report that said Miami Heat forward Luol Deng had "some African in him."

The Hawks' investigation of the incident absolved Ferry of any racial or ethnic wrongdoings. After he resigned in June of 2014, he told ESPN "I wish the full context of the call was known, but I made a mistake. Those words (should not have) come out of my mouth. I have to own that and I have."

Ferry was a collegiate star at Duke before he was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1989. Rather than play for the Clippers, Ferry opted to play a season in Italy, and Los Angeles traded his rights to the Cavaliers. Ferry played 10 seasons for the Cavs and three for the Spurs.