Pelicans Considering Sam Hinkie To Replace Dell Demps

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The New Orleans Pelicans may want to hire Sam Hinkie as their next President of Basketball Operations.

Last week, the New Orleans Pelicans announced that both the team and Dell Demps mutually parted ways. Dell Demps spent 8 1/2 seasons as general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans.

“We will immediately begin the process of restructuring our basketball operations department,” stated Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson.

Demps became the fall guy after Anthony Davis trade talks at the NBA trade deadline went unfulfilled.

The Pelicans wanted a lot.

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Demps was let go last week and while some may have rejoiced, some did not.

“Damn they fired my friend on the busiest weekend of basketball,” one retired NBA player told me last week during NBA All Star Weekend in Charlotte, NC.

“How low could the Pelicans go?”

Said a former teammate of Demps:  “The Pelicans need to stop running their team like a fu***** football team.”

Demps took a more diploatic approach.

“New Orleans will always be near and dear to my family and me,” he told the Advocate newspaper.

“It’s a place that welcomed us with open arms and felt like home from Day One. The kindness and pride of the people, the food and the culture is second to none. NOLA is the city that my wife Anita and I watched our son Riley grow from a 10-year old kid to a high school graduate at Isidore Newman School.”

Danny Ferry was named Demps’ replacement in the interim. 

Per The Bird Writes:  For the rest of this season though, Ferry has been handed the reins of the general manager duties on an interim basis, but few, if any, have given much thought to the idea that his interim tag could potentially flip to a much more permanent one while being upgraded to a higher standing within the organization in good time.

While that’s great news for Ferry, one cannot forget his last post in an NBA front office role.

While GM of the Atlanta Hawks, Ferry made a racist remark relating to Luol Deng’s heritage while on a conference call in 2014.

“He’s a good guy overall,” said Ferry. 

“But he’s not perfect. He’s got some African in him. And I don’t say that in a bad way, other than….”

In the recording, you can hear Ferry speaking about Deng, with Atlanta ownership laughing in the background.

Per SB Nation: Ownership interjects once Ferry first references to Deng’s heritage, and says “That comment was Sterling. That’s going to be on TMZ tomorrow.”

Ferry did apologize. “I repeated those comments during a telephone conversation reviewing the draft and free agency process,” he said.

“Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it. I apologize to those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning.”

Ferry was eventually let go by the Hawks and he has found consultant jobs in the NBA since then.

Sam Hinkie on the other hand, would be a curious choice. The former GM and President of Basketball Operations of the Philadelphia 76ers is about as analytics as they come!

A disciple of Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets, Morey’s “trust the process” mantra became a “thing” in the Sixers’ locker room, their fan base and in pop culture references. 

Furthermore, Hinkie helped the Philadelphia 76ers get a major facelift in the post-Allen Iverson, Andre Iguodala era. He hired current head coach, Brett Brown, drafted Joel Embiid, signed Robert Covington and a bit more.

Sadly, after losing many losing seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers parted ways with Hinkie and hired Bryan Colangelo as the Sixers’ general manager and president of basketball operations.

We all know how the Colangelo experiment panned out.

So, is The Process Remix finding it’s way to New Orleans? “Sam Hinkie is being brought up as the potential President of Basketball Operations,” one league source told me this afternoon.

“It’s gaining some steam.”

In the meantime, the second half of the NBA season resumes on Thursday and the Pelicans have an Anthony Davis rest issue and decisions on their future to consider.

Will they trust their process? Hinkie might be their start.

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