Edi-torial: Anthony Davis declares, and why the Pelicans should not
Now that anything Davis has made his intentions known, the Pelicans should not make theirs.
What the Pelicans should do before the NBA trade deadline is, nothing.
If Pelicans owner Gayle Benson would ask, I would tell Mrs. Benson that now is the perfect time to do nothing.
And, then when the season is over, hit the reset button.
The trade of Anthony Davis would be the perfect kick starter in a reboot of the entire organization.
No one could blame the Pelicans for moving on from general manager Dell Demps, who has been in charge here for nine years.
Demps inherited a tough situation. Chris Paul wanted out, and for a time, the NBA owned the then, Hornets.
The situation stabilized only when former NBA commissioner David Stern recruited Tom Benson to be the club’s new owner.
When he arrived from San Antonio, Demps was expected to model the organization after the Spurs, but has done anything but.
The Pelicans chose to buy and trade for veteran experienced players.
Rebuilding, using the draft as a key piece of the puzzle, was not an option.
After sweeping Portland in the first round last spring, the Pelicans were poised to make a step forward, despite not re-signing center Demarcus Cousins.
Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton were brought in, to join a nucleus of Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, and Niko Mirotic.
But, those six have spent little time on the floor together.
“The bottom line is when we have the team we thought we were going to have, we were 7-3,” said head coach Alvin Gentry Monday.
“But, we have only had our team for 10 days.”
But, injuries can also be weathered with depth, something the Pelicans have not had.
Monday, guard Jrue Holiday called Anthony Davis “a transformational player”.
And, he’s right. There are not many seven footers on the planet, averaging 29 points and 13 rebounds.
And, Davis turns 26 years old in March.
So, what Mrs. Benson should do is let the rest of the season turn into a lame duck 32 games.
Then, in the offseason hit the reset button and ask this question.
Is Dell Demps the general manager I want to make this trade?
Barring the unforeseen, the Pelicans will have a lottery pick of their own.
And, New Orleans can then have its pick of possible trade packages for Davis.
But, what the Pelicans do need, more than anything, is an admission that they are a small market franchise.
New Orleans needs a general manager and a coach committed to player development, and to a building a bench that can weather a long 82 game NBA season.
If the Pelicans had committed to such a philosophy 6 years ago, the Anthony Davis saga may have ended differently.
The Pelicans could have taken their lumps early in Davis’ career, as they built a talented, young nucleus.
But, management chose a different path, and it is a road that Anthony Davis doesn’t prefer.
So, he’s off to the exits.