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Bird Feed: Demps Happy with Pelican Core

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Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Dell Demps spoke extensively about his plans for the offseason yesterday. The biggest takeaway is that he's happy with the core lineup, expects it to stay intact, and plans for everybody to be recovered from their injuries by the beginning of next season:

''I didn't think we got a good sample of the group playing together,'' Demps said. ''We're still confident with the core that we have, but obviously we want to continue to do everything that we possibly can to improve.''

The Times-Pic has some more good quotes. On his view of the past season:

'Obviously we're disappointed in where we are at this point in the season,'' Demps said during his season-ending news conference Wednesday at the Smoothie King Center. ''We came into this season having high expectations and due to a number of reasons we're not where would like to be at this time.

''I just want to win. I want to get this team and put ourselves in a situation that we're a good team. We've had a number of injuries this year. We're still confident with the core group that we have, but we obviously want to do everything we possibly can to improve this team.''

On Monty Williams:'

'I think he was put in an impossible situation with the injuries that we had,'' Demps said.
''With the pieces that he's had this year and the way our players developed, I think that's a definite positive.

''I think the development of Anthony and the way Tyreke came on at the end of the year, I think we've had a number of players improve. Now obviously, we want to get all those improvements on the court at the same time. I thought the way our guys competed, I am happy with that.''

I have to say, that's a pretty fair assessment of Monty over the past year.

With the season ending, we've had a series of silly people writing silly things about the Pelicans. Jimmy Smith is back to harp on Dell Demps's performance for no particular reason. He's giving Demps a grade of C for his performance. Since he hasn't released grades for anybody else, it gives you the impression that this grading article is just an excuse to write another article bashing Demps with the exact same reasoning of the first one. And, of course, it obliquely recommends that Demps be fired:

The head coach, Monty Williams, has been dropping veiled hints throughout the season that he didn't think the Pelicans had enough defensive-oriented players.

There has to be a concern whether there's a disconnect between the two men at the hub of basketball operations and whether some intervention is needed to repair the schism.

I'm sure he'll be back again beating the drum for Avery Johnson and Joe Dumars. Continuing the bumper crop of silly, Fletcher Mackel is reacquainting himself with the Pelicans now that it's the offseason - he traditionally prefers to talk about hypothetical trades than actual basketball. To start off the season, he has a bumper crop of absolutely nutters trades that Demps could make to offload Eric Gordon's contract. There's garden-level silly, like trading for Amare Stoudamire, and then there's the straight jacket crazy, like this:

Scenario No. 3: Trade Eric Gordon To Milwaukee For Ersan Ilyasova & Larry Sanders

Milwaukee is in full-blown rebuild mode and could use the offense Gordon could provide. Also, Gordon is a solid citizen and would be a good locker room guy for a young Bucks team

This trade has everything - it would be rejected out of hand by the Bucks, would be devastating to the Pelicans from a salary perspective, and probably isn't even legal, given that Sanders's contract is bumping up to $11M next season. It's a rare lose-lose-fail trade. Also, in what universe is Eric Gordon regarded as a good locker room guy?

Finally, here's a nice recap of last night's game from Jim Eichenhofer.