Dell Demps and the New Orleans Pelicans lost at the trade deadline. An opportunity to make a move of current assets (read, Ryan Anderson) for something which might help the franchise in the future passed without taking advantage. In the process, Demps avoided making a "big move," and in the process probably avoided making a bigger mistake. For evidence, look to every single move of significance Demps has made since drafting Anthony Davis in 2012. Those moves could be the result of bad luck or bad management (as explained in depth by Michael McNamara on Bourbon Street Shots) but they have failed nonetheless.
Dell Demps, General Manager of the Pelicans, can be fired. Bad luck cannot.
However, none of that is to say the Pelicans were losers at the trade deadline. Simply put, an opportunity to make a transaction, good or bad, was lost. Except in sports writing that's not how all this goes and winners and losers of every transaction, the NBA Draft, NBA Free Agency, and yes the Trade Deadline, must be assigned. Diving around the internet this afternoon the message is clear.
The Pelicans were big losers yesterday.
The Pelicans fit here, too. Ryan Anderson was one of the biggest names on the market, everyone reportedly had interest, and yet the Pelicans will most likely lose him in free agency. It's just not a good situation.
CBS Sports was not, at all, the only outlet to call the Pelicans losers at the deadline. Nate Duncan, host of the Dunc'd On podcast and writer for The Cauldron put New Orleans firmly on the losing side of the ledger.
Big, big loser today to me is NOP. Don't tank to improve draft pos this year, don't get assets for Ryno and EG.— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) February 18, 2016
Sean Deveney also wrote the Pelicans were a loser at the deadline for Sporting News.
The Pels are a mess, and while no team should ever make a deal for the sake of making a deal, you could argue that New Orleans was the one team that should have made a deal for the sake of a deal. From the standpoint of health, system changes and internal improvement, nothing has gone well for the Pelicans this year, and with general manager Dell Demps feeling the hot breath of Mickey Loomis - the Saints executive now giving more attention to the Pelicans' shortcomings - some kind of change was needed.
But there was no team willing to pay a price for Ryan Anderson, and the Pelicans were not willing to give up Jrue Holiday for New Orleans native Greg Monroe, which at least would have given the team a smiley story. Again, may standing pat (with the exception of adding Jarnell Stokes) is the right thing to do, but the Pelicans needed to gamble. And no, a wild stab at Dwight Howard does not count.
I would point you to someone saying the Pelicans won at the deadline, but such an opinion does not exist.