The New Orleans Pelicans front office went through a major upheaval at the end of the regular season. After Will Demps purposely failed to execute a trade to send Anthony Davis away, the team fired him after the trade deadline. Now, David Griffin is the new man in charge of basketball operations in New Orleans. He recently hired former NBA player Trajan Langdon, and fans can only hope he can take the franchise in a new direction with or without Anthony Davis. Let’s look at Langdon’s profile and see if he is the right man for the job.
Trajan Langdon dominated the Alaska high school basketball competition, and he was one of the best basketball players in the country. Langdon headed across the country to play at Duke. He started 24 games as a freshman and averaged 11 points per game. He was a four-year player for the Blue Devils, and he helped lead them to the NCAA Championship game in 1999, where they lost to UConn.
NBA career and beyond
Langdon was the No. 11 pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, going to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Notable picks later in that round included Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) and Manu Ginóbili. Langdon played three seasons with the Cavs, averaging five points per game while shooting nearly 40% from behind the arc. After being released by the Cavs he had a brief preseason stint with the Clippers in 2004, but he ultimately found a home playing overseas.
Langdon decided to head to Europe to play for teams in Italy and Russia. He was part of a dominant CSKA Moscow team that won nine straight championships and was named to the Euroleague 2001-10 All-Decade team. After retiring in 2011, Langdon set out to land front office roles in the NBA.
Front office experience
Trajan Langdon joined the San Antonio Spurs in 2012 as a team scout, and he stayed in that role until the end of the 2015 season. He then joined the Nets as their assistant general manager and stayed in that role until joining the New Orleans Pelicans.
What about Anthony Davis?
The biggest problem for the Pelicans front office and the future of the team is the Anthony Davis question. When Davis is playing at 100%, he is easily an MVP candidate capable of putting up triple-doubles, and he routinely is a 25 and 10 player. New Orleans landed the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, so winning the Zion Williamson sweepstakes could give Davis the motivation to stay.
There is speculation he wants to join the Lakers to pair up with LeBron James, but collusion hasn’t been brought up by anyone in the league. The real question is: could Zion Williamson and Davis play together? When Davis and DeMarcus Cousins shared the court, the Pelicans looked like a formidable opponent in the Western Conference. Both players were able to score when they were on the floor, and we think Williamson and AD should have a similar impact on the frontline. The West is full of dominant big men, but not many teams have two of them on the roster.
If Trajan Langdon moves the disgruntled superstar, New Orleans should receive a hefty return. A few first-round picks should be at the top of their list, to rebuild around a young nucleus that starts with Zion Williamson.
How do you think Trajan Langdon will do in his role?
Should fans expect good things out of Trajan Langdon and the new front office team? He’s relatively anonymous, but his experience with the Spurs and helping to rebuild the Nets could be a good sign for his New Orleans future.