clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rumor: Joe Dumars, Avery Johnson on Pelicans' radar if owner makes changes

Joe Dumars might not be out of work for long if New Orleans remains on the outside looking in of the Western Conference playoff picture.

The New Orleans Pelicans might have superstar Anthony Davis, but have not yet cracked the playoffs with The Brow in tow. If the team doesn't make the playoffs this year both the GM and coach might be out and the duo of Joe Dumars and Avery Johnson might be in, according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report.

Dumars has kept a low profile since parting ways with the Pistons last year, but even before he was fired reporters consistently mentioned that he would find a job in another front office and probably wouldn't stay away for long. Just today, David Mayo addressed Dumars' future in a mailbag column, saying:

He has a long history as an executive, some of which he'll have to explain in interviews, but he has a lot of friends around the league, too. He'll look for the right landing spot but he'll be back in soon.

Soon, in this case, might be as early as next year, according to Bucher:

The love for all things Louisiana by Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle, is well-known. That could be why the hot rumor circulating around the league right now is that if Benson decides the team is not meeting expectations and makes changes, he will bring in two Louisiana natives as replacements-former Detroit Pistons GM Joe Dumars and former Nets/Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson.

Remember, aside from both being Lousiana natives, Dumars and Johnson do have a history together. After firing Flip Saunders Michael Curry, Dumars went deep into negotiations with Johnson on a multi-year deal that would have paid him more than $4 million annually. Rumor has it, as detailed in this Drew Sharp column, that he would have been the Pistons coach, in fact, if Karen Davidson didn't nix the deal because she was trying to sell the team and was uninterested on spending top dollar for a head coach. The Pistons instead hired John Kuester and Johnson remained in broadcasting.

The Pelicans are 17-18 and sit 3.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the West with Oklahoma City a serious threat to jump them. It looks like it will be a tall order for the Pelicans to make the playoffs, and both head coach Monty Williams and GM Dell Demps must feel their seats getting at least a little warm.

The owner, Benson, mortgaged a bit of the future in a bid for relevancy and a taste of the postseason a few years ago when he traded draft picks for point guard Jrue Holiday and Omer Asik and spent big money on Tyreke Evans.

The team went from 27 wins in 20112-13 to 34 wins last season and are on the cusp of .500 this year, but that might not be enough to save Demps and Williams.

So which version of Dumars would the Pelicans be receiving? Who knows. Dumars had huge highs and huge lows in trades, free agency and the draft. While his recent record is littered with lavish contracts for sub-par players, one thing Dumars will have going for him is that the No.1 option and superstar will already be in place -- Anthony Davis.

With Davis in hand Dumars can do what he was much better at -- finding complementary pieces that are more like No. 2 and No. 3 options.