New Orleans Pelicans: Should David Griffin be on the hot seat?

Is David Griffin to blame for the New Orleans Pelicans failures? (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Is David Griffin to blame for the New Orleans Pelicans failures? (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans came into the season with dreams of making the playoffs and so far they look more like a lottery contender than a contender for one of the playoff spots.

Expectations may have been too high for this team but with Zion Williamson turning into a superstar before our eyes and All-Star Brandon Ingram expected to make another leap, fans may have expected more than they should have out of a young team that is still early in the rebuild.

But greatness brings those expectations, so David Griffin and the front office need to deliver before we have another Anthony Davis situation on our hands.

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So to answer the question, no David Griffin should not be on the hot seat but realistically he probably already is, as Zion Williamson is a generational talent that the Pels cannot afford to waste.

Personally, I still believe David Griffin is the right man for the job and that he needs to be given time to realize the vision he has for this team.

But I can also understand the fans that want to see him go, as he has not inspired much faith so far. Here is the argument for putting David Griffin on the hot seat.

New Orleans Pelicans: David Griffin has not drafted well

Let’s be honest, none of David Griffin’s draft picks other than Zion are very exciting. Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker are starting to lean towards “busts” and Kira Lewis Jr., though very young, may not fit with what they already have.

It doesn’t appear that Griffin had much foresight when it comes to how the Pels would eventually use Zion Williamson and what types of players would best fit around him.

If you are going to use Zion at the point, then why draft a point guard who doesn’t shoot from long range? Why draft a center who can’t space the floor or defend? Why draft a combo guard with a wonky shot and no ball handling skills? None of Griffin’s draft picks so far have made much sense, especially given what we’ve seen from Zion Williamson.

David Griffin put together a roster with no size or shooting

If there is anything that is clear, it’s that Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram need shooters around them to create space, especially once you add Steven Adams to the mix.

The book is still out on Adams’ fit with the team, though the offense has been great so that is not as big a concern.

But what is clear is the the Pels need more shooters. It’s not Griffin’s fault that JJ Redick suddenly forgot how to shoot but wasn’t his decline inevitable? Josh Hart has been inconsistent from behind the arc, as has Nicolo Melli, whose contract was a complete waste of cap space and a roster spot.

This left the New Orleans Pelicans with an undersized bench that often features Josh Hart defending power forwards and a second unit that cannot shoot.

A lot of this was obvious, so yes, David Griffin has to take some heat for building a bench full of guys who don’t have roles.

New Orleans Pelicans: The pieces around Zion Williamson don’t fit

The Pelicans need a roster full of long, versatile and athletic 3-and-D types around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram and they don’t really have anyone who fits that description unless you count point guard Lonzo Ball, who has been forced into this role.

The thing is, there were guys like this available in the draft and free agency, but Griffin chose to trade away all but one of his draft picks and not to take flyers on some of the 3-and-D wings who are currently helping other teams.

If David Griffin has a vision for this team, it is really hard to see what it is right now, as the roster was pieced together with guys who absolutely do not fit with Zion.

Some of this is not his fault and it’s possible that these young guys will turn things around, but David Griffin has to shoulder some of the blame for how this team has played so far.

He needs to make the right moves in the offseason to get this team turned around or he may find himself on the hot seat sooner rather than later.

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