There is a new man in charge of the New Orleans Pelicans, according to an ESPN report.
The Pelicans have reached an agreement with David Griffin, according to the Friday afternoon report.
While Griffin's exact title isn't clear, ESPN says he will likely be the Pelicans' executive vice president of basketball operations.
Griffin is well known, having served as the Cavaliers' general manager for their 2017 NBA championship and famously trading Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love after LeBron James returned to the franchise from the Miami Heat in free agency.
Griffin, 45, began his NBA career working in the front office of the Phoenix Suns. His biggest immediate task in his new role is almost certain to be how to handle Anthony Davis' trade request.
Sources told The Advocate that the Pelicans' candidates included interim general manager Danny Ferry, Houston Rockets assistant GM Gersson Rosas, Brooklyn Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon, Washington Wizards interim GM Tommy Sheppard and Golden State Warriors assistant GM Larry Harris.
They were all in the running to replace Dell Demps, who was fired Feb. 15, in the midst of his ninth season in New Orleans.
Ferry, who since June 2016 has served as a consultant to Demps, sent a text message to The Advocate on Friday afternoon saying he was withdrawing from consideration. Ferry took over as interim general manager after Demps was fired.
"I let the Pelicans know throughout the process that for a few reasons the timing wasn't right for my family to move full time to New Orleans," Ferry said via text message. "It's a great job and deserves a full time focus. I have had a great experience with the Pelicans. I am happy to stay on to help them continue with the transition and to consult the next head of basketball operations if so desired."
The mix of candidates displayed the Pelicans’ desire to hire a known commodity; all of them are either in the upper echelon of a front office or have run one in the recent past.
The current ownership group has never hired a basketball general manager, inheriting Demps when the franchise was purchased from the NBA in 2012 and extending Demps’ contract multiple times in the ensuing years.
The title of executive vice president of basketball operations belonged to Mickey Loomis, who also serves as the Saints' executive vice president and general manager. If that is indeed Griffin's title, it re-emphasizes what Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson said about her basketball team's organization chart when Demps was fired: That the plan was to have two different people in charge of the two franchises. She reiterated that sentiment at the NFL's owners meetings in March, saying Loomis would be working strictly with the Saints once she made a hire for the Pelicans.
The Pelicans wrapped up the regular season Tuesday night with a 112-103 loss to the reigning NBA champion Warriors. The Pelicans, one year removed from reaching the second round of the playoffs, failed to make it to the postseason and finished the year 33-49. That record tied the Pelicans for next-to-last in the Western Conference standings with the Dallas Mavericks, ahead of only the last-place Phoenix Suns.