Dell Demps Statements After Dealing With Paul
New Hornets GM Dell Demps met with Chris Paul today to discuss the recent trade rumors and to assure Paul that the team is headed int he right direction
Below is a transcript from the press conference that followed.
First of all I’d like to say I’m really excited to be here today. This morning, Chris Paul, his agent Leon Rose and his brother C.J. Paul met with Hugh Weber and Monty Williams and I at about 10 a.m. We met for about an hour and a half and I thought it was a very productive meeting. I was encouraged. It was the first time I met Chris. It was a good opportunity for us to open the lines of communication. Chris had some very good points. He’s a smart, young, intelligent person, and I was really excited about the meeting.
Q: At any time, did Chris, Leon or his brother formally request a trade or talk about wanting to be traded from New Orleans?
Demps: You get right to the point, huh? He did not. He did not request a trade.
Q: Did he seem disgruntled whatsoever. What was Chris’ demeanor?
Demps: He was energetic, he was open, he was honest. He showed that he wants to win, and that’s what we want to do, as well.
Q: Were you confident that he will play for the Hornets this season?
Demps: I am.
Q: There has been so much conjecture and hearsay in the media. How much did Chris confirm these thoughts, as far as his desires that were put out in the media?
Demps: (The meeting) didn’t really go there. Chris asked what the direction of the team was. He talked to us, we kind of talked about some things we’re going to look to do in the future. He seemed, in my opinion, excited and ready to play.
Q: Did you present any options or a plan for the team? Or were you more general?
Demps: I would say it was general. I must say to you guys, I really understand and respect your jobs, I know you guys have a lot of questions, but there are going to be some things that we are going to have to keep private. I just feel that that would be the best thing to do. I do want to give you guys something, because it has been publicized. I am new at this, so I hope you guys can be kind and bear with me. I thought Monty Williams and Hugh were great along the process. I really want to thank Chris, Leon and C.J. for being there today and I thought it was a very productive meeting.
Q: Anything you can do immediately with the roster?
Demps: I think you have to put together the plan and the process. Chris is a smart guy, he understands what’s going on and it was very productive.
Q: Are you worried about this potentially being a season-long distraction?
Demps: I hope not; I don’t anticipate that. I don’t think so.
Q: What, if anything, made this extraordinary about the meeting, other than the first meeting between a new general and a player?
Demps: Just opening the lines of communication, being able to talk. I don’t know how to answer that. It was opening the lines of communication.
Q: Was there any moment were you said, “Look, you are under contract?”
Q: With where the Hornets are with the luxury tax and the money, aren’t you kind of limited in what you can do this summer?
Demps: There’s always ways to be creative. I’m an optimist. I think that we’ll sit down and evaluate the roster and look at all our pieces and move forward and do what’s in the best interests of the organization.
Sounds as though everything went well, but of course Paul has been saying in public for a while that he would prefer to be in New Orleans, even if that’s not neccesarilly the case. Regardless I will choose to be optimistic. Once the season starts and the wins start piling up and moves start being made, problems can just fade away.
Remember when Kobe wanted to be traded from the Lakers? It’s not so far fetched that Paul could be very happy in a Hornets uniform for years to come.