New Orleans General Manager David Griffin needs to be on the hot seat as far as I’m concerned, with the news yesterday morning of New Orleans Head Coach Stan Van Gundy parting ways. Whoever the new coach will be, it will be franchise player Zion Williamson’s third head coach in three years. Welcome to the NBA, Zion Williamson where good front offices matter.
Griffin walked into one of the best jobs you could have asked for, especially with former franchise player Anthony Davis wanting to get traded to the Los Angles Lakers. Oh, did I mention winning the lottery with Zion Williamson being the prize possession? Getting franchise guys is one of the hardest things that you can do in the NBA, Griffin had a handout in this job and has just made head-scratching moves since.
Well, let’s go back to the NBA draft where New Orleans traded Davis to Los Angles where Los Angles had the fourth pick in the draft and used that fourth pick in the trade. New Orleans got a nice haul for Davis, especially getting that fourth pick. New Orleans used that pick to trade back to eight via the Atlanta Hawks. Only for Griffin yet again made a head-scratching move by selecting Texas Center Jaxson Hayes.
Hayes is a very athletic player with the ability to be a very good rim runner in the NBA. Having said that, what was the point of New Orleans drafting a center that doesn’t spread the floor? New Orleans should of stand pat at four and selected De’Andre Hunter. The perfect player to play with Williamson, Hunter defends at a high level and with a jump shot that looks promising at times.
Williamson needs ” three and D” guys to be successful. Even if New Orleans wanted to trade back to get another pick, why not take a chance on Williamson’s ex-teammate at Duke Cam Reddish who has upside and is a wing. What about this past summer where Griffin was in some rush to trade Jrue Holiday? Does anyone want to talk about that, what was the rush to trade Holiday who is only thirty-one years old still playing at a high level?
Having said that, how about get a better package than late first-round picks from the Milwaukee Bucks and Eric Bledsoe’s awful contract in return. Look at the Phoenix Suns this past offseason, who liked their young core and made a move for Chris Paul. Now, look at Phoenix who is four wins away from the NBA finals. Is there a world where New Orleans could have made that move for Paul? I think so, they had the picks and the player to make the same move that Phoenix did.
That would show to Williamson and your fan base that you are serious about this new era in New Orleans. Also having Paul back in New Orleans would have been a nice touch as well. It seems to me that Lonzo Ball will not be back in New Orleans after drafting Nickeil Alexander-Walker in 2019 and this past draft selection Kira Lewis Jr who are both guards. Ball looks to be the odd man out and I think that would be a mistake, Ball has been getting better and better since he has been in the league. Epically, Ball’s shooting has been much improved.
How could I forget about the trade for Steven Adams who is another center who doesn’t spread the floor nor does leave the paint? To make things worse, Griffin gave Adams a two-year thirty-five million dollar contract extension. Yeah, I don’t get that either.
New Orleans needs to find their next Head coach and Griffin better find the right person for the job or that clock will be ticking on Williamson’s stay in New Orleans. Think about it, both of his buddies have already made the playoff in Ja Morant with the Memphis Grizzlies and RJ Barret of the New York Knicks. Williamson has to be annoyed that he has not made the playoffs yet. Entering year three will be huge for him and more importantly Griffin.
If it doesn’t work out for Williamson in New Orleans then I do not want to hear the media complaining about star players staying in small markets. A perfect example was Davis when he was in New Orleans. Former general manager Dell Demps made mistake after mistake as well. The media loves to tell you that star players do not want to stay in small markets which I’m not saying isn’t true to a certain degree but front offices need to be better if they want to keep their star players.
New Orleans you’re on the clock…