Dell Demps Rumors
“We’re not pleased at where we are right now,” Demps told the Black and Blue Report, the in-house podcast for the Saints and Pelicans. “I thought at the end of the season last year, we’re gonna bring this group back and have something to build on to try and take that next step. And right now, we haven’t done that. And so we’re looking at any and everything. When you’re in this position, you’ve got to look at any and everything.”
That includes exploring the trade market. “We will do what’s needed to get this team on track,” Demps said. “Obviously we dug ourselves a deep hole. And it’s going to be tough for us to fight back into it this year. But we’re always looking for the long term as well as the short term. We haven’t given up on the season. People always ask about trades: ‘Are you gonna make a trade? Are you gonna do something for the short term?’ I say, ‘We have to do what makes sense.’ We can’t just make a trade just to make a trade, get rid of a guy and bring back lesser talent, or that’s going to make the team deficient. So we’re looking right now. But we gotta be smart, we gotta make sure that we’re looking at the right things. But at the same time, we’re gonna look internally, gonna look to see if we can find the right combinations out on the floor that can help us win right now.”
Demps noted that he believes the value of expiring contracts isn’t as high as it was 10 years ago. “I think with some of our expiring contracts, could it help us in the short term and long term? Possible,” he said. “But it’s not something that I think that we want to think that that’s going to be like the savior.”
Saints GM Mickey Loomis has taken on a greater personnel role above GM Dell Demps, but rival execs understand that move is only temporary. “Mickey is a football guy, not a basketball guy,” one exec said. And at the D-League Showcase, the buzz was getting louder that it’s only a matter of time before former Pistons executive Joe Dumars — who has a close relationship with Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson — returns to his native Louisiana to assume control. That’s usually how it works. When someone is assuming control in the NBA, he usually has a mess on his hands.
There has been speculation about Demps’ job security, especially in light of the fact that Mickey Loomis—who runs the NFL’s Saints as the team’s executive vice president — reportedly will put more focus on his duties as the Pelicans’ executive VP. That’s not exactly a vote of confidence for Demps.
Several teams in the NBA cellar had representatives on hand to watch Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray at the CBS Sports Classic. Suffice to say it was Murray whose stock rose the most despite Kentucky’s loss to Ohio State. 76ers GM Sam Hinkie, Pelicans GM Dell Demps and other NBA personnel were on hand at Barclays Center for the event.