Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
New Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon believes his former team - the Brooklyn Nets - are in position to land star players.
Langdon noted that in a conference call on Tuesday to announce his hiring in New Orleans.
He called his time in Brooklyn, where he served as an assistant GM, 'fantastic.'
"The challenges that were here upon me coming in three years ago were daunting, and what we were able to do in three years was tremendous," said Langdon, who previously worked with top Pelicans exec David Griffin in Cleveland. "My intrigue about the (New Orleans) job was about working with David Griffin, especially once he told me how much Mrs. (Gayle) Benson (the Pelicans owner) was really set upon this being her baby and the team being successful, and being invested.
"It's another challenge and one that's greater being in a smaller market. Brooklyn has put themselves in a place now where they can attract those big-name people, and that's what we want to do there as well, but in a different market," Langdon added. "And like Griffin has said in the past, doing that in smaller market like he did in Cleveland is just a lot more rewarding when you find that success."
The Nets can create enough cap space to sign at least one max free agent this summer. Several reports, including from the New York Post and Philly.com, have stated that the Nets will be suitors for Philadelphia's Tobias Harris. Throughout the regular season, some close to Harris have viewed the Nets as a strong destination for the 26-year-old, per SNY sources.
The Nets have what could be a strong pitch to free agents. Brooklyn is on an upward trajectory, has alignment between ownership, the front office and coaches and has some strong young players (Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert among them).
The Nets seem to be well-respected throughout the league. Just look at recent coaching and executive transactions. Langdon is one of four coaches/execs to be hired by other franchises since the end of the season. Assistant coach Chris Fleming was hired by the Chicago Bulls; director of international scouting Gianluca Pascucci was hired by Minnesota and G League coach Will Weaver - the league's coach of the year - was hired by the Sydney Kings in Australia.
Langdon said on Tuesday that leaving Brooklyn was a 'very difficult' decision.
"My wife and my kids are very happy here. We've obviously considered this home for the past three years," said Langdon, whose former Duke teammate, Elton Brand, is GM of the Sixers. "Any move for a family is difficult. And obviously from a professional side what we've been able to do here the past three years and building a culture and becoming successful and getting our team into the playoffs has been immeasurable.
"But the opportunity to join up with Griff again and do something special - in a place that nobody believes it can be done aside from the people in this organization and the city - is something that's very intriguing. It's just a new challenge and a new opportunity that I'm very excited about."