Do you trust Dell Demps to make changes between now and the trade deadline? Do you have concerns on those moves having long term consequences?
Kevin Barrios: I think Demps needs help. He makes some very good moves — especially on the bottom end of the roster — but he hasn't used the draft well (aside from the Davis no-brainer). I'm a big fan of the Evans and Holiday additions (though Holiday was an overpay). I don't particularly like Anderson much as he's too hot-and-cold for me, but Dell acquired a player who can win games by himself for nothing (and he may be able to turn him into another asset this season). Ish Smith was a good signing and I wish he would still be on the roster, but he was at least turned into some nice assets.
I'm not so concerned with Dell recognizing talent (though, he's never really filled that SF spot aside from getting a solid half season out of Pondexter) to add to the roster, but with a potential lottery pick and other picks coming from moving Anderson and/or Gordon I don't have a lot of faith in him nailing it in the draft. If you have time, go listen to the Zach Lowe podcast from1/13/16 where he and Howard Beck break down the Nets. It makes a few things clear — Billy King made some terrible trades, but they likely were done with the owner's AK-47 pointed at his head, but he's been really good in the draft. While some fans are clamoring for Joe Dumars (who like most GMs that have a long tenure have several ups and downs), I wouldn't hate the idea of bringing in Billy King as a draft guru to aid Demps in that area.
Isaac Constans: I think Demps is an average GM; there's plenty worse and plenty better. While he's not the problem, if this team sticks with Gentry, I'd rather someone else as the master puppeteer, someone more like-minded. The Asik signing this summer showed that these two aren't on the same page.
So I hope Demps recognizes his mistakes and moves forward, focusing on this franchise's future. With Joe Dumars having a barbecue under Demps' seat, however, don't expect any rebuilding actions. That would be admitting defeat, meaning that Demps would look even less qualified for his job. I could see a myopic move for Rudy Gay, but nothing to help out this team in a few years time.
Chris Cucchiara: I think that Dell is in Save My Job mode right now. He sees the fact that the 8 spot in the West is within reach and if he makes the playoffs, he may save his job. Mickey Loomis needs to decide whether Demps will be a part of this organization next year if the Pels make the playoffs as the 8 seed. If not, let him go now before he damages the future of the Pels to save his own position.
Jay Dunn: Yes, I've always liked how Dell Demps operates. Every GM makes his mistakes but at least Dell had a clear plan that made sense (young veterans). To me he's always made sensible moves save Gordon and Asik contracts, and I could make a case Asik deal isn't as bad as ppl make it out. Demps is certainly in death throes as the teams GM but he's never truly had full control over the franchise. Mickey Loomis isn't a basketball guy but he is smart and won't allow Demps to sell the farm on his way out of the barn. In the mean time I've gotta brush up my resume so I can take Demps job (Pelicans/careers.com for those who are interested).
David Fisher: Demps has a sterling reputation on lesser assets and much less so on transactions of greater significance. The problem is the Pelicans most reasonable trades in the coming month are of rotation level players; Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, and to a lesser extent Tyreke Evans. I worry that this franchise trying to maximize their immediate record will have long-term repercussions. Quincy Pondexter's knee last season is one example. The current situation around Tyreke Evans' surgically repaired knee is another. However, potentially trading two valuable expiring contracts in Anderson and Gordon are at the top of my mind.
Jonny Harvey: The Pelicans get both Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson’s contracts off the books next season, freeing up around $24 million in cap space. Trading one or the other may limit the front office’s flexibility this offseason, and I’m not sure that many teams would give up young assets on affordable deals or first round picks just for a half-season loan on either of those players.
Quentin Haynes: I don’t know. I know last year, Demps made two moves in order to get this team to the playoffs. He got Norris Cole and Quincy Pondexter for next to nothing. The latter helped solidify a wing position, while the former became help after Jrue went down. It depends on what the status of the front office is and if they believe they are buyers or sellers. Either way, there’s nothing that suggest I should trust him, nor anything that says I shouldn’t trust him.
As for long term consequences, I don’t think so. I don’t see a realistic trade out there that hurts New Orleans long term. I don’t see them moving this year’s first round pick for anyone and everyone outside of Davis is tradable to me. Yes, even Jrue in the right deal. Even the rumored Ryan Anderson for Rudy Gay trade doesn’t have that much of a long term consequence. I think NO will either blow it up or add a small piece. Either or, not much risk there.
Oleh Kosel: Past history teaches Dell Demps has done well facilitating trades, one of his few remaining solid departments; however, it must be mentioned the Pelicans are in the midst of not meeting expectations for the first time during his tenure. Will a threat on his future employment override smarter long-term decisions? Will he be pressured by Tom Benson's mandate of producing a winner now? Yeah, one could say there definitely exists real peril a move or two before the deadline has long range consequences.
Owen Sanborn: I have the feeling that Demps is waiting things out over the next couple of weeks to see how the team fares. The past two wins have been a step in the right direction and the Pelicans have shown a knack for getting on a sneaky second half run before. The playoffs are an appealing fate for Demps because that's how ownership wants him to think, but that doesn't make it the correct choice from my viewpoint. So in other words, no. I do not trust Demps to make the best long term move at the deadline. But I also understand why he is thinking the way he is thinking. He doesn't have a choice. I wouldn't want to lose my job as an NBA general manager either.