Pelicans reportedly will hire David Griffin to lead basketball operations

David Griffin will be the man charged with getting the best possible return for Anthony Davis. 

The Pelicans have an agreement in principle to hire the former Cavaliers general manager as their new president of basketball operations, ESPN reported Friday. 

The report came shortly after Danny Ferry sent a statement to media outlets saying he had pulled himself out of the running for the job. Ferry had been serving as interim general manager since Dell Demps was fired in February. 

“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’s statement read (via The Athletic). “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.”

Griffin, 46, was Cleveland’s general manager from 2014-17. He brought LeBron James back to the Cavaliers from Miami in his first summer on the job, along with hiring David Blatt as coach and acquiring Kevin Love from the Timberwolves.

Griffin fired Blatt in January 2016 and elevated assistant Tyronn Lue to replace him, and the Cavs went on to win their first NBA title that summer. 

Griffin’s contract expired following the 2017 season and he left the team after he was unable to agree with owner Dan Gilbert on terms for an extension. 

There had been reports Griffin could be a candidate to replace Magic Johnson in the Lakers’ front office, where he would have reunited with James.