If, by some reversal, Demps is not retained what kind of GM should the Pelicans pursue?
Nico Baguio: If they decide to let go of Demps, honestly, I don't know which one to go with. I was going to say "just poach the Asstistant GM from the Spurs", but he's going to work with Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. So maybe, the Hawks (2 Assistant GMs?) or maybe the Warriors? I don't know. But it better be someone who understands that the Pels NEED a massive upgrade in "analytics" -- whether it's about on-court performance, or minutes management, injury prevention. Whatever.
Kevin Barrios: I mentioned him in yesterday's answer, but if John Hammond can come in without Joe Dumars being involved, I'd be pretty good with that. He's drafted or traded for the following players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton, John Henson, Johnny O'Bryant III, and Damien Inglis. I still believe Larry Sanders can have a future in this league if he either controls his drug habit or the league gets more progressive and removes marijuana from the banned substance list. Considering we have potentially the sixth or better pick in this draft, I'd certainly go for a guy with this kind of drafting track record.
David Fisher: A different, well-respected voice who can get ownership to buy into a change in course is what I want from a possible new general manager. Considering the relationship Joe Dumars and John Hammond have, this is the biggest selling point. Not their success in Detroit together. Their ability to ideally explain to ownership the nature of their own previous failures. Both were successful when relatively patient and remarkably unsuccessful when trying to take short cuts.
This is not a plea for the Pelicans to tank, far from it. There are going to be significant opportunities for every NBA team to make radical changes to their rosters and outlook this summer. In the process of taking a longer view of the market, a general manager who is thinking beyond winning immediately will be able to position this franchise to win at the 2017 trade deadline and during free agency next summer -- all the while avoiding the tendency to desperately make a "big splash" between now and July.
Quentin Haynes: I’ve always been of mind that Troy Weaver from Oklahoma City and Gersson Rosas of Houston are going to be good general managers. There’s no exact name for me, but if the Pelicans went with a new head man, you need one who can help every level of the team. Someone who can help the Pelicans build around Anthony Davis without giving up the farm in future draft picks. Someone who can bring a minor league affiliate and someone who makes New Orleans an ideal destination. I wrote about Danny Ferry a while back and think he’s the perfect kind of general manager --someone who can control basketball operations and create a great climate.
Zachary Junda: If Demps is let go, I'd want a general manager who values their draft picks and signs players that fit with the way the league's evolving. In this growing space and pace era we're living in there's no need to have Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca, and Kendrick Perkins all on the same roster. You need two-way wings that can shoot and allow for creative and versatile lineups. And with a talent like Anthony Davis, why not mimic what the Magic did with Dwight Howard and have a dominant big flanked by ball handlers and perimeter shooters? I don't have a name specifically because I don't know front office executives, but that's who I would want from a general manager.
Oleh Kosel: Travis Schlenk. He is the Warriors assistant GM and has worked for their organization for 12 years, having seen the team transform from the run and gun days of Don Nelson to the incredible championship caliber we see now. Winning is difficult in the NBA -- few can ever say they have stood at the top -- so why not chase and hire a candidate who has been there and understands the path that is required? Additionally, analytics and scouting are considered strengths. As a bonus, the whole GM-needs-to-hire-his-own-coach wouldn't be an issue as Gentry worked with Schlenk less than one year ago.
Fernando Ritzman: If the Pelicans do decide to go in a different direction and part ways with Dell Demps, I would look for a general manager regarded as having an eye for talent. Maybe a guy like Troy Weaver, assistant GM for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He's known as a relationship guy and a good scout. He was the one who pushed hard for Russell Westbrook in the draft, not to mention other players: James Harden, Serge Ibaka, and Reggie Jackson. That's a pretty good list to be affiliated with. He would probably need to bring a salary cap guy along, but someone like him would be who I would be looking for.