David Griffin has hit the ground running, just one day after he was introduced to the Pelicans organization and the city of New Orleans as the team’s next executive vice president of basketball operations.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Griffin and the Pelicans have been given permission to speak with Clippers assistant general manager Trent Redden about a senior front-office role in New Orleans.
Griffin and Redden worked together during Griffin's time with the Cavaliers from 2010-17, helping to bring a championship to Cleveland and break the city’s 52-year professional sports title drought. After starting with the team as an intern in 2007, Redden worked his way up to become senior vice president of basketball operations before he was dismissed, alongside Griffin, in 2017.
In Los Angeles, Redden works under Clippers general manager Mike Winger, continuing the pair’s history they began together in Cleveland from 2007 to 2010 before Winger left to become the Thunder’s assistant GM.
Though it isn’t immediately clear what specific role Redden may fill within Griffin’s new management structure, the Pelicans’ new vice president of basketball operations said Wednesday that he’s more concerned with getting the right people in the building.
“When you go about building the type of infrastructure (we want), you don’t hire for roles. You hire for people,” Griffin said. “Chris Grant, my predecessor in Cleveland said this very well. ‘We need to get the right people on the bus, and then we’ll figure out what to call each other once we’re rolling to the right place.”
Two days ago, the Timberwolves were granted permission to speak with Winger about Minnesota’s vacant president of basketball operations position, according to Wojnarowski. That would open the possibility of Redden sliding into his boss’ general manager role in the near future to work under Clippers president and lead basketball decision-maker Lawrence Frank, if Winger were to leave.
On Wednesday, Griffin made it clear he’s not necessarily looking to hire someone for the role of general manager, though he clarified he wasn’t resigned to the idea.
“I’m looking to hire the right people, and if the role of general manager is what it takes to get the right people, then yes, we’re open-minded to giving that opportunity out to somebody.”