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The New Orleans Pelicans have hired former Atlanta Hawks president of basketball operations Danny Ferry as special adviser, nearly two years after he took a leave of absence from the Hawks over insensitive racial remarks.

Ferry will be a consultant to the Hawks in a similar fashion as Hall of Famer Jerry West is to the Golden State Warriors, a source said.

Sources tell ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that the Pelicans hired Ferry at the urging of general manager Dell Demps, who worked closely with Ferry in San Antonio before his move to New Orleans.

Sources said Demps has turned to Ferry as a sounding board ‎frequently over the past two years about various Pelicans moves, leading Demps to pitch New Orleans ownership on bringing Ferry into the organization.

Ferry also has previous GM experience with the Cleveland Cavaliers and as the Spurs’ vice president of basketball operations.

“I am excited to announce Danny Ferry has accepted our offer to join the New Orleans Pelicans basketball operations staff as a special adviser,” Demps said. “Danny’s experience, insight and achievements will be a welcomed addition to the Pelicans as we continue our quest to improve the team.”

The Hawks announced on June 22, 2015, that Ferry had stepped down as their GM. The move came after an indefinite leave of absence from the Hawks that began in September 2014 after Ferry repeated some insensitive racial remarks on a conference call with team ownership and others. Ferry’s repeated comments came from a scouting report and contained a culturally insensitive characterization about Luol Deng.

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