« Hornets add Carl Landry, sacrifice fan favorite
Farewell Marcus Thornton »
Redfish Talk with Dell Demps
The Hornets had an extended Chalk Talk scheduled for about 50 season ticket holders at the Bourbon House. Â I went with my girlfriend and bumped into a couple I know from around Hornets-town. We both got the redfish, but the crab and corn bisque and the chocolate chunk bread pudding were the real show-stoppers. Â Great food, fun conversation, casual attire, Bourbon Street, and the Hornets GM taking your questions 52 hours before the trade deadline . . . only in New Orleans!
The last time I did this, it went for 2 hours and there were informal questions answered following. Â Bower told me in this informal session that David West loves elephants (for those who missed it).
When I got home to write this, Marcus was traded. Â As a result, this is out a little later than I wanted, but I felt a little better about the event getting cut short as he was working, opinion of the work aside.
The punchline was that a trade is about 60-40, in favor, and the preferred structure is a guard going out and bench big coming in. Â How about that?
Here is the summary in question order, with some consolidation:
Emeka: Emeka is a maybe for Wednesday, but they will hold him out if there is any issue at all with the oblique injury. Â He is likely to return by Friday and is â€œdefiniteâ€ for Sunday. Â The issue for the Hornets is that they do not want this to turn into a lingering injury.
Media Reports: Dell claims to have stopped talking to the media. Â Some stories out there are true, others are not. Â Heâ€™s being aggressive, but he cautions that everyone is both making and taking calls.
David West and Chris Paul in New Orleans: Dell doesnâ€™t like to speak for people. Both said they want to be here and want to win. Â He cautions that change can be sudden. Â He is showing them their plan to win in actions and not just in words. Â He called Chris, David, and Emeka our core. Â He told a story about his arrival at Louis Armstrong International Airport prior to his first day at work, seeing a news story saying Chris wanted to be traded . . . then they showed his (Dellâ€™s face). Â A kid next to him looked a the screen, then at him, the screen, him, and angrily asked if he was going to trade Chris. Â Cute. Â He swears itâ€™s true. Â I kept picturing Arnold Drummond.
Hornets and the Tax Line: He said he arrived with a plan that Mr. Shinn and Mr. Chouest both approved. Â He showed the NBA the same plan. Â It was filled with contingencies. Â None of them have been challenged. Â He says he has no problem, and neither does the NBA, at going over the tax for a top 20 player, the kind of player that will put us in the championship hunt. Â His initial mandate upon coming to New Orleans was fiscal responsibility, but that is trumped by bringing in a championship.
Player Voices in Moves: An emphatic â€œYes!â€ was the response when asked if David West and Chris Paul have input in moves.
The Knee: Dell asked for an MRI of the knee after `the meetingâ€™, and Chris complied. Â He gets regular MRIâ€™s, and the knee is on track. Â He feels it takes 2 years for a player to return to pre-surgery level after these kinds of surgeries. Â The issue is the strength of this quad muscles after bring inactive following the surgery. Â The first year is largely about building trust in the knee. Â Chris is fiercely committed to his rehab. Â The knee brace was a request by the team to provide some insurance of sorts while the knee was healing. Â Chris honored that request. Â The knee brace is officially gone.
Ariza has issues?: Dell essentially dismissed a claim that Ariza has â€œissues,â€ which Monty allegedly said.
David West Contract: Dell explained that Davidâ€™s declining contract value combined with rules governing extensions essentially made any extension unfair to David. Â David has expressed happiness with New Orleans. Â Dell hesitated to say it would be easy to sign him, saying that nothing is easy, but he indicated that both parties would like a deal to be worked out here.
Will There Be a Trade: He said 60-40 is a better description than 50-50 (check). He indicated that our strength at guard would allow us to send out a guard and the need is a bench big (check).
Marcus Thornton: Heâ€™s good, but inconsistent. Â Heâ€™s tradeable (check). He said no player in the NBA is untouchable except Kobe (due to contract size). He acknowledged that Marcus brings energy at times and that he becomes a Marcus fan at times. Â He didnâ€™t comment substantively on the suggestion that Marcus is â€œinvisible on the road.â€
Backup point guard: Jack was supposed to be like George Hill on the Spurs, who could as a point guard and with a point guard. Â He was a little past tense in this . . .
Defensive lapses in the 4th: He chalked this up to injuries indirectly by saying that players have been playing out of position, specifically citing Ariza acting as a power forward in the 4th against Portland. Â Since he did not know the system from that position, there were lapses.
Chrisâ€™ shooting choices: He essentially said Chris is the superstar and they agree with his choices, and that means he does not have to shoot more in the 4th.
Offensive movement: After being congratulated for surprising the NBA with the Hornets performance this year, he addressed a questions about offensive movement. Â He said they have a 20 second rule they try to abide by, as they seem to perform much better when they cross mid-court with 20 seconds left (again, thatâ€™s why Chris rolls the ball to mid-court). They also rely on screens, which are lackluster at times.Â The practices recently have had an offensive emphasis.
Refs: Dell laughed and said. â€œI donâ€™t knowâ€ when asked how to get respect from the refs.
Announcing fouls: Dell said heâ€™d pass on the idea of having Chuck (the in-Arena announcer) announce more fouls over the PA.
Ownership: The ownership situation isnâ€™t hampering him. Â He expects other teams to use claims of instability against the Hornets during free agency.
TV: Dell will pass on the suggestions that all road games be televised, and only the larger draws at home have local coverage. Â He said they are trying to get them all televised.
Relocation: He hopes to stay. Â He just bought a house.
It was a good time. Â I wish I had gotten one of my questions in, however. Â There were a good number of Marcus questions, which seem like such a waste now, alas. Â The Jack situation didnâ€™t come up, for what that is worth.
And thanks, Marcus.
And go get the bread pudding, people.
I like the direction of the whole organization. Just good individuals all around. I hope the new ownership falls into that mold. Would love to see a no nonsense, religious, moral oriented type of owner with unlimited resources, but who understands the value of a dollar come into play. Wouldn't that be a perfect fit?
I was also there (won the cookbook). The Thornton questions were the only ones that he seemed uncomfortable fielding. Now I know why. I really like this guy. I wished I could spend an hour with him picking his brain. Wished I knew you were there 42, I would have said hello.
Dell is a hustler. if this is the only move we make its a fantastic one but if he gets us a guard who can score as well mercy six mercy six
I was going to go to this, but I was working tonight. Was there a good turnout? Were all of the spots taken?
Such a no BS kinda guy in a position that doesnt require you to be one. I noticed when he talked about trades he said sending out a guard for a big but nothing else, I hope we're not done but maybe we are.
He said those things, but not outright. That is me consolidating things a bit. He didn't indicate anything about the number of trades he was targeting, but with the relative silence and all-star break, I'm sure he's trying to work the next priority. Whether we get it or not . . .
Yea its been a crazy post christmas in this part of the world between the earthquake, record breaking floods, fires, cyclone yasi and now banana prices are going up! I was fortunate to not be amongst most of it, we got some flooding where i am but not as much damage was caused as opposed to other places.