What was the biggest error, looking back, that Dell Demps committed in the years following the Chris Paul trade?
Isaac Constans: Hindsight is 20-20 and maybe it's not fair for me to say now, but Eric Gordon should have been allowed to go to Phoenix. Before the cap expansion, his salary paralyzed the Pelicans' progress and trapped them in a starless purgatory. But hey, whatever gets Anthony Davis is fine by me. Teams have dropped much lower than the Pelicans, even if the only saving grace was a ping pong ball.
Chris Cucchiara: In order:
- Hill contract
- Asik contract
- Firing Monty Williams
- Gordon contract
Jamile Dunn: It has the to be the re-signing Eric Gordon. If anything, that decision more than any other, should make the organization’s brass nervous about continuing under Demps. After a couple of pretty dreadful years from Gordon and his obvious lack of desire to play for the franchise, Dell Demps doubled down on the move by making Gordon the team’s highest paid player. Demps failed to admit his error and move on in a different direction. Instead he resigned Gordon to prevent the appearance that they received nothing of value in trade, as well as the desperate hope that Gordon could turn his career around and net a decent return in a trade. Does re-signing a guy you are trying desperately to trade sound like sound management? The flexibility lost due to Eric Gordon's albatross contract hamstrung the organization for years and definitely stunted managements ability to improve the roster.
David Fisher: Sending Robin Lopez out in the Tyreke Evans sign-and-trade is pretty high on my list with the benefit of hindsight. A number of mistakes have cascaded around the lack of a decent center beside Anthony Davis. Robin Lopez was not without his faults, but keeping him saves the Pelicans from the season of Greg Stiemsma, the Omer Asik trade, and the Omer Asik contract. An alternative to moving Lopez would be difficult, if not impossible. And maybe forgoing the Tyreke Evans signing altogether to keep a starting caliber center (and mounds of cap space) is the best outcome. Especially with the future consequences Pelican fans have experienced.
Oleh Kosel: Dell Demps biggest mistake has been Omer Asik, without a doubt. Not only did New Orleans sacrifice a 2015 first round draft pick, they then went on to re-sign him to a 4-year contract after Alvin Gentry was named the head coach. Logic was completely thrown out the window because the potential head coach brought up the name of Andrew Bogut when describing Asik’s fit in his system. Demps bought it hook, line and sinker, all the while ignoring Asik’s decline in 2014-15 and sticking to a maddening principle of not allowing an expensive asset to simply walk out the front door.
Frank Spiro: From Dell Demps’ perspective, the trade-switch isn’t what caused him to panic into his “Young Veterans” approach: The drafting of Anthony Davis did that. You see it in the NBA all the time, right now it’s happening with the Knicks. When a generational talent is drafted, and organization has a choice; they can stick with their rebuilding plan (The young Kevin Durant Thunder) or try and win as quickly as possible (Rookie Lebron Cavaliers). We fall into the second category, and that is completely on Demps.