Pelicans hire Trajan Langdon as general manager

BRETT MARTEL (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 21: Former player of CSKA Trajan Langdon after the 2018/2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 28 game between CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Megasport Arena on March 21, 2019 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Mikhail Serbin/EB via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 21: Former player of CSKA Trajan Langdon after the 2018/2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 28 game between CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Megasport Arena on March 21, 2019 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Mikhail Serbin/EB via Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Pelicans have hired Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon to serve as New Orleans' GM under new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin.

Langdon, whose hiring was announced by the Pelicans on Sunday, is a former Duke and NBA player who also played professionally in Russia, Turkey and Italy. The 43-year-old from Alaska has served as Nets assistant GM since 2016 and helped rebuild Brooklyn into a squad that qualified for the Eastern Conference playoffs as a sixth seed this season after finishing last in the East two seasons earlier. He also was GM of the Nets' G League affiliate on Long Island.

Langdon interviewed for the top basketball operations job that went to Griffin in mid-April.

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When Griffin was formally introduced by the Pelicans last month, he said he had received a commitment from owner Gayle Benson to build up the management structure of the club. He has begun doing so by bringing in Langdon, and before that, hiring former Suns executive Aaron Nelson to oversee injury prevention, rehabilitation, performance and recovery programs.

''From the moment I met with Mrs. Benson and her team, it became clear that her commitment to the success of our franchise is absolute,'' Griffin said in a statement released when the club announced Langdon's hiring. ''This is one more very clear sign of that commitment. Trajan is a tremendous talent and shares in our vision.''

Langdon joins Griffin and the Pelicans during a period of transition that has seen an infusion of optimism since last week, when New Orleans won the NBA's draft lottery, giving the club the option to select the consensus top player in the draft, Duke's Zion Williamson.

The draft lottery result also provided the Pelicans more leverage in choosing how to handle the future of Anthony Davis, who is under contract one more season but requested a trade in late January.

Griffin has said he is open to keeping Davis should the six-time All-Star have a change of heart and recommit to New Orleans. Otherwise, it could be in the Pelicans' interest to trade Davis sometime before next season's NBA trade deadline in February.

A Davis trade could bring New Orleans a wealth of new talent. And if completed in the next month, such a deal also could provide additional high first-round picks in the NBA's June 20 draft.

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