Bird Feed: Dell Demps and Monty Williams Talk Offseason Priorities

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

As the playoffs start up, Dell Demps talked about what went wrong last season and the priorities are in the offseason in a wide-ranging Q and A with Jon Reid:

Q: Do you think it was a mistake bringing Tyreke Evans off the bench at the beginning of the year?

A: 'I wouldn't call it a mistake. When you are judging your talent, you want to put guys in situations that you think is best for the team. When we acquired him, we talked to him about coming off the bench and he was all aboard with that. He never said anything against that. I think Tyreke is a team guy.'

On fan favorite Pierre Jackson:

He's an interesting one. He played really good in the D-League. I think he was the leading scorer. We've followed him and been in contact with him. When we made the trade last year, we knew we were giving up our draft pick and we kind of looked at him as our draft pick for this year. So we have his draft rights and he's going to be experienced, a little bit older. Can I promise Pierre Jackson is going to be on our team next year? I can't say that right now. But he's definitely an asset. I want to make sure I say that. He's done everything and exceeded expectations.

The Advocate notes that, unsurprisingly, the key priority in the offseason is finding solutions at center and power forward.

"When we played at Charlotte (on Feb. 21), we couldn't stop Al Jefferson in the low post. And the game at Washington (on Feb. 22), Nene went for 30 points," Williams said. "You can't have that and expect to win."

No shocker, Monty really likes huge guys down low. More interesting is Monty's analysis of the small forward position:

A basic strategy against the Pelicans is to double-team a key player such as Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon or Evans, then rotate to defend against outside shooters, with Aminu often getting an open look because he is not a priority to cover. That was why Evans was put in the starting lineup Feb. 28 at Phoenix.

"We were basically playing 4-on-5 offensively" with Aminu in the lineup, Williams said.

But Evans, at 6-6, is not the answer, either.

"He's just not a small forward," Williams said. "When you look at the small forwards in this league - LeBron (is 6-8), Kevin Durant is 6-10. It's unfair to ask Tyreke to guard them, just like it's unfair to ask Anthony to play center."

In league news, Adam Silver says he has the support of a majority of owners to increase the age minimum from 19 to 20, effectively requiring two years of college instead of just one:

Any changes wouldn't be in place by next season because the league is waiting for the players' association to name an executive director before formally starting negotiations. But it's clear there's a growing momentum to force this occasionally divisive issue through soon, possibly in time for the 2016 draft.

Apparently the owners met with current pariah Mark Emmert for a couple of days to come up with this policy. I have a hard time saying that players should be forced by a cartel to work for nothing more than food and housing (and occasionally not even enough food). The alternatives would be playing in the D-League, which has no age limit but would pay players probably no more than $25k per year, or playing overseas like Brandon Jennings. Neither are particularly attractive for an 18 year old.

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