David Griffin discussed the team's decision-making during Pelicans-Lakers on Friday.

David Griffin: Right opportunity to make trade-deadline deal wasn't presented to Pelicans

VP on no trade: "You’ve got to be a really good NBA player to be better than the guys who are playing off the bench right now (for the Pelicans)."

There were no fireworks, no blockbuster deals across the NBA prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, but a few Western Conference teams made moves to improve their depth short-term, increasing the options available to their head coaches down the stretch of the 82-game season. New Orleans third-year sideline leader Willie Green has recently faced the opposite dilemma, having too many deserving-of-playing-time contributors and not enough minutes within a game to get them all on the floor.

So while fifth-place Phoenix added wing defender Royce O’Neale and eighth-place Dallas acquired bigs P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford, No. 7 New Orleans came out of deadline day with exactly the same roster. As Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin noted during his Friday in-game TV interview with Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels, upgrading the team’s rotation via trade was never going to be a simple process.

“Our job is to capitalize on the right opportunity,” Griffin said. “We’re really blessed to have a group (of Pelicans players) that we just really believe in. I said this earlier today at (Friday’s) shootaround, you’ve got to be a really good NBA player to be better than the guys who are playing off the bench right now (for the Pelicans). Sometimes you want to do something, and sometimes you force a square peg into a round hole.”

Asked if the team’s front office factored in the chemistry Pelicans players have developed on and off the floor, Griffin concurred, noting, “We’ve got a group that not only enjoys playing together, but there’s a spirit to them and camaraderie to them that’s really unique. You do worry about changing that. It’s one thing to want to get better; it’s another thing to do harm. Unless you’re going to move the needle, doing harm is a bigger concern for us.”

Griffin also alluded to media-generated rumors that caused New Orleans players to see their names publicly floated as potentially being dealt, pointing out the lack of validity of some reports.

“What’s infuriating is sometimes the quickest calls are the ones that end up in the media the next day,” Griffin said. “Sometimes (another team calls and) says, ‘Would you do X for Y (in a trade)?’ and you say (back to them), ‘Hell no!’ but then all of a sudden (there’s a headline the next day) that Y is available in (trades). It’s really hard to get your mind around sometimes.”