He could potentially return to that role with Griffin in charge.
David Griffin, the former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager who was the architect behind the team's 2016 National Basketball Association championship, is reportedly in line to take over.
The two parties have agreed in principle, putting Griffin in position to maneuver the ongoing Anthony Davis trade request.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry worked with Griffin with the Suns, and he interviewed Griffin for the Cavaliers' head-coaching job that eventually went to David Blatt. We won't have that same problem with the Pelicans' new GM, David Griffin, since he inadvertently told everyone his asking price for AD when he was an analyst on NBA TV.
One year later, the Cavaliers announced they would not renew his contract.
"He's kind of been the guy who has let us grow", said Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who is coming off the best season of his 10-year National Basketball Association career.
Griffin fired Blatt in January 2016 and elevated assistant Tyronn Lue to replace him, and the Cavs went on to win their first National Basketball Association title that summer.
It will be interesting to see if Griffin follows that script going forward. "Draft picks, an elite role player - somebody that could really further the cause for us as a victor because when you're bringing more young kids to the floor, you need those players to galvanize a group".
Payton, who is from the New Orleans area, said playing in his hometown exceeded expectations and that he would like to be back. Boy do the Celtics still have a bucket of those.
Davis demanded a trade earlier in the season, and he could become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.