I have the same great feeling that I had last year about our team. Great things are in our future and kudos to the Benson's and all of the Pelicans staff. I think we will be able to attract veteran free agents with the quality of our organization and the direction of our team. Throughout the season, our team has shown that they are prepared and play hard. Hopefully, for some, that will enough to get them in here and become the pillars along with Davis, Rivers, Gordon and Anderson.
LIVE Call With Dennis Lauscha, Dell Demps, and Monty Williams (Live Updates!)
The New Orleans Pelicans are hosting a live interactive fan conference call. It will be moderated by Pelicans play by play announcer Joel Meyers and will feature Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha, General Manager Dell Demps, and Head Coach Monty Williams. Throughout the call they will discuss the direction of the team and you will have your own opportunity to ask questions.
When: Today (April 30th) 6:00pm CDT
How to Join: Dial 1-877-229-8493 and enter pin 16182 to join the live conference call at any time.
Updates (courtesy of 42):
- Monty is not unhappy with any players. He was pleased with the team laying the foundation, but they need to add talent so they can have long-term success.
- I missed a Gordon question and will try to get this from another listener . . . It seems like they said everything is fine and everyone gets along.
- Rivers is viewed as a dynamic player. He’s working with his left hand per a conversation with Rivers a couple of days ago. He can play point at times and can give a different look. His speed is attractive.
- Offseason strengthening and conditioning is a big deal, especially for the younger players. Monty praised Carlos Daniel highly.
- Responding to questions about the defensive identity they are going for, he mentioned adding speed. He noted that they are top 15 in offensive efficiency, but he’s emphasizing that they will work on this in the offseason. The defense leads to offense is repeated. Speed is a theme.
- They are thrilled with Roberts. They like that he took a chance to come earn non-guaranteed money rather than guaranteed money in Europe (see here). He’s a good learner, and really improved on defense.
- Monty likes that his married players set an example of responsibility to the younger players on the team.
- Monty would like to have Anderson and Davis on the floor together more, but he has to protect Davis from the larger centers. So, this may happen more as Davis physically grows.
- Sounds like Pellisier got a question in . . . how do they select players in the draft or free agency . . . fit or best players? Dell’s answer seems like they are going after some free agents but was vague on the process other than that they work together. Monty helped convince Anderson this was the place to be, so the entire product has to be attractive to attract free agents.
- $13m-$14m in cap space to use, ballpark. Can get creative and change that.
- The Practice Facility has a hard to quantify effect on attracting free agency, but it has an effect when they are going to work at a state-of-the-art facility, which will also be the only one that shares its site with an NFL team.
- Bringing in veterans is a priority this coming season.
- Dell feels the talent in Europe is “coming back.” He feels they are actually better in the younger groups of players because of the different system and earlier starts and different paths to pro careers.
- Monty laughed when reminded that he mentioned that opposing players tell him to not forget about them in the offseason on the way to discussing how attractive New Orleans is to free agents. He says the ownership being “all in” and the franchise’s assets improving makes a difference, but it may take a while longer for them to be taken seriously.
- Some Pelicans staff are in the office portion of the new practice facility.
- “Logo” sales are high, and ticket renewals are higher than they’ve ever been. They should surpass last year’s totals soon.
- Fans will have input in many aspects of the rebrand such as mascot, dance team, nicknames, chants, and more. June, July. A survey is coming out about the in-Arena experience. They use fan comments and secret shoppers.
- Got mine in: Actively in the market for naming rights and pursuing them with multiple companies. Champions Square may get more use and more development to the structure. The food court got a good deal of talk.
- There are no plans for a D-League team to be owned by the Pelicans organization.
- There will be changes to replay, but it’s not always clear what those change would be. They look at plays a often and give feedback to teams when they miss calls.
- Apparently, only a few states have shot clocks in high school. Not news for those in such states, but I thought it interesting.
- The team is working with youth programs all summer. They invite people to call the team and put them to use.
Check out Mason’s twitter for his take, or if you like twitter better . . . or if you just like Mason better.
UPDATE (5/1/13 at 10 AM): The Pelicans have posted audio of the entire call on the team’s website which you can listen to here.
This was great. It was well done, organized, professional, and candid. They answered all questions openly, hedging only where it was clear that they’d be tipping their hand.
Again, kudos to Mr. Benson, Mr. Lauscha and more. I always considered Team Benson to be the safe pick, but I am truly and deeply impressed by how this thing is being run. It’s not perfect, but . . . wow . . . what a difference.