Dell Demps has held the title of New Orleans Pelicans general manager since July 21, 2010. During that time, the team has made the playoffs just twice and owns a 237-321 win-loss record. We don’t have to tell you a 42.5% win percentage isn’t good, but with a roster that currently includes Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, perhaps these results deserve less focus.
Should the Pelicans look to move in another direction from general manager Dell Demps or give him another season to get back into the playoffs?
Though a lot of us here at The Bird Writes have been calling for Dell Demps' job for quite sometime, the Boogie trade and Jordan Crawford and Quinn Cook signings have saved him for the near future. If Demps delivers this off-season by dumping Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca or Solomon Hill, re-signing Jrue Holiday to a sub-20 million dollar deal, and/or landing a solid guard for less than Jrue as well as another piece, I’ll gladly put my torch and pitchfork away.
This decision is a much tougher one than deciding Gentry’s fate. I understood many of Demps' moves even if they all didn't pan out. He initially brought in offensive/ball-handling guys to surround Anthony Davis because he and many of us — myself included — underestimated AD's offensive game while overestimated his defensive abilities. The general manager was operating in a win-now mode and sacrificed some future, but a lot of the fallout had little to do with the plan. There were injuries and in my mind a bad coaching hire.
If he hadn't landed DeMarcus Cousins on All-Star Sunday, though, it would be clear that his time should be up. Yet, Dell did get New Orleans that second superstar the city has never enjoyed. The move also instilled what should be an identity to build off of even if that identity doesn't fit the current coach. Those two things outweigh bad deals like Omer Asik's contract (and Solomon Hill's — though I still believe Hill will pan out), but he has enough skeletons in the closet that I would understand parting ways.
I can be pushed to lean either way here, but I'm willing to let Demps come to work for another year. This will be his final go if no playoffs, though, regardless of excuses. But Demps has been rumored to be at odds with coaches before, so let's see if he can finally find one who he's in accord with. The Cousins trade bought him the next year, in my opinion, as did the eye for Jordan Crawford. There's no clear answer here for me, and Demps has had plenty of time. I'm torn, as you can tell, but there's something to be said for continuity when it's an option.
David: Go in another direction
Yes, if only to have a non-invested decision maker negotiating with Jrue Holiday this summer. We've already experienced what "the Pelicans have no better options" turns into at least twice (Eric Gordon, Omer Asik) under Dell's leadership. Dare we risk a third?
Zach: On the fence
I think Dell's on a longer leash than Gentry. Also, I feel like Dell has unparalleled job security because who's Dell really report to? Mickey Loomis? Please. Demps could run the franchise into the ground on a dare and his supposed superior would be too busy paying attention to the Saints. But on a serious note, I do think between Demps and Gentry, Dell's the lesser of the two incompetent shmucks. Then again Demps is the one who built this mismatched roster...huh...
Oleh: Go in another direction
Electing to show Gentry the door a few days ago, I don’t see how I can then turn around and vouch for Demps. Whether it was directly his choice or not, Monty Williams was unceremoniously let go and the current general manager sealed his fate when he tied himself to the allure of Golden State Warriors basketball. I hated the idea then, was forced to watch an ill-fitting roster crash and burn for two seasons, and now with Boogie in the mix for nearly two months, the franchise still employs a coach who has already promised to push the pace once again.
Ugh, thanks but no thanks.
Brett: On the fence
This is tough. Dell Demps has been something of a disaster as a GM, but he also may have saved his job by acquiring Cousins. And for every failed signing like Solomon Hill, there has been the smashing successes of E’Twaun Moore and even the acquisitions of Cheick Diallo and Quinn Cook — both of whom could be valuable contributors as early as next season. Perhaps those crucial acquisitions and re-signing Cousins are what has to be the focus for Demps and the Pelicans, rather than some of his more glaring failures in the past.
I think Demps is a fine manager. He snagged Boogie from the Kings for almost nothing, and has found some nice role players in Quinn Cook and Jordan Crawford. He should stay on board, and I believe he definitely has the right to stay put in New Orleans. I would be shocked to see him leave town.
Dell, Dell, Dell. Ugh. Keep him. I still like E'Twuan Moore for this team, Jordan "Instant Grits" Crawford was a tremendous find, as was Terrence Jones and swinging the Cousins deal was franchise-altering. There's plenty of bad in his history, but this team is in a different place now; although not a gear head, I think of teams and players as I do cars. Think of the Warriors as a Bugatti or Rolls Royce or something... I figure, he drove a Pinto into a lake, but what can he do now with something more like a Corvette?