New Orleans Pelicans: David Griffin deserves some credit

New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The entire New Orleans Pelicans franchise had an up and down season, including VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin.

Last offseason the Pelicans looked like a bit of a mess, as they had to fire their coach, trade three of their starters, including the popular Lonzo Ball, and this was all before star Zion Williamson got hurt.

David Griffin was starting to get the blame, and fans were growing tired of the lack of straight talk about Zion’s injury, as well as the apparent dysfunction of the franchise as a whole.

It didn’t help when the team got off to a terrible start behind first-time head coach Willie Green, which just added more fuel to the speculation that David Griffin was on the hot seat.

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I don’t think he ever really was, as we can’t see what goes on behind the scenes and aren’t privy to the plans. We just have to watch them unfold in real time, and now that we have, it’s time to give David Griffin some credit for turning things around.

David Griffin’s recent moves for the New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans are now in one of the best positions in the NBA, as they just made the playoffs, get to add the 8th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and Zion Williamson will be returning.

Griffin was a big part of the season’s modest success and why they look set up for much more in the future.

Here is what he’s done in the last year:

  • Traded Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe, two guys who were not fits
  • Traded Lonzo Ball. I admittedly thought Griffin blew this by not trading Ball sooner, but Lonzo’s continued injury problems made him a guy they couldn’t risk investing in, even though he is a very talented player who definitely helped the Bulls before he got hurt.
  • Traded for Jonas Valanciunas and Devonte’ Graham. You can definitely argue about the Graham trade, but the trade with Memphis was a great one for the Pelicans. Valanciunas had a productive season and they still got a good player in the draft.
  • Drafted Trey Murphy III and Herbert Jones. Jones made All-Rookie and Murphy III was playing impact minutes in the playoffs as a rookie.
  • Signed undrafted free agent Jose Alvarado. Jose became a national sensation after aggravating Chris Paul with his defense while playing important minutes in the playoffs.
  • Traded for CJ McCollum. This was the move that propelled the Pelicans into the playoffs, but because of the Anthony Davis trade, the Pelicans get to keep cashing in on the Lakers’ draft picks.

The New Orleans Pelicans went from a team that looked like a rudderless mess to one that is poised for sustained success for the foreseeable future.

David Griffin deserves a lot of the credit for that, and went from his seat getting warm to a guy who could win Executive of the Year next season if the Pelicans make it back to the playoffs.

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