There was hope for the New Orleans Pelicans in the summer of 2019 when they hired former Cleveland Cavaliers Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin for the same position. The Pelicans then got the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to select power forward Zion Williamson, and they were building a fantastic roster.
But, fast forward to Friday, Nov. 12, and the Pelicans (1-11) have the worst record in the NBA, Williamson is still out with a fractured foot and Griffin could be fired soon.
Griffin has made some terrible hires within his organization in just his third season with the team. The Pelicans are with their third head coach since the beginning of 2019. Stan Van Gundy was fired after one season as head coach of New Orleans after the team accounted for an overall record of 31-41 last season. Gundy was known to have problems with some of the star players and the management.
Griffin has also not done a good job keeping his star players happy outside of the trade of disgruntled star Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason of 2019. He also not utilized the potential of point guard Lonzo Ball, guard/forward Jrue Holiday, forward Derrick Favors and center Stephen Adams. All four of these players are now playing for other teams after short careers with New Orleans.
In addition, if the Pelicans are not careful, they could be in danger of losing their current star players in small forward Brandon Ingram and Williamson.
Williamson is reportedly set to make his season debut for New Orleans in January. This is concerning, as Ingram has missed the last six games with a hip injury and the Pelicans have been playing undisciplined basketball. In Wednesday's 108-100 loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Pelicans encountered five technical fouls, nine missed free-throws and a three-point shooting percentage of 25.7%.
Griffin is reportedly on the hot seat as the team's executive president of basketball operations after a terrible start to the season and not having much impact from the recently drafted players. The Pelicans are in last place in the NBA standings, just below follow Southwest Division rival in the Houston Rockets (1-10).
New Orleans will be more efficient when Ingram returns soon with a hip injury. If Williamson is out until January, the Pelicans will need to win some games to compete for an actual playoff spot. There is only so much losing a star player like Williamson can handle until he demands to be traded to a bigger market with goals towards an NBA Championship. If New Orleans losses Zion's trust and demands a trade, it will be the biggest blunder of Griffin's career as an NBA executive.