Click here to Skip to main content

Hornets hire former Spurs vice president Demps as GM

By David Aldridge, TNT analyst
Posted Jul 21 2010 6:22AM

The New Orleans Hornets have opted to entrust their immediate future -- and their ability to convince star guard Chris Paul to stay in town in two years -- to a rookie braintrust, after agreeing to terms Tuesday with San Antonio Spurs vice president Dell Demps to become their new general manager.

Demps will join new coach Monty Williams, in his first year as a head coach, and try to build around Paul the way the Spurs have successfully built around Tim Duncan for more than a decade.

Demps is yet another member of the Spurs' organization -- he was GM of the Spurs' D-League team in Austin and the Spurs' director of pro personnel -- to be hired by another team to run its basketball operations, joining Sam Presti (Oklahoma City) and former GMs Steve Kerr (Phoenix) and Danny Ferry (Cleveland). Demps, who played for the Spurs, Warriors and Magic as well as several teams abroad in a 10-year career, is currently San Antonio's vice president of basketball operations.

The Hornets picked Demps over former Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard, former Sacramento assistant GM Jason Levien, Washington vice president of basketball administration Tommy Sheppard and former Suns assistant GM David Griffin. And Demps picked the Hornets over Phoenix, which also coveted him to work under the team's new chief basketball executive, former player agent Lon Babby. The Suns came hard after Demps, but the ability to have complete control over personnel in New Orleans instead of reporting to Babby in Phoenix was a deciding factor for the 40-year-old Demps.

Pritchard pulled out of the running late Tuesday, but Demps had been the Hornets' top choice since the weekend, when he met for a second time with team president Hugh Weber.

New Orleans fired former GM Jeff Bower last week, calling it an amicable parting. But several sources maintained that the team got rid of Bower as his relationship with Paul became more strained in recent months. The Hornets had made preliminary inquiries about Paul's trade value, and though the team was unlikely to deal Paul this summer, rumors have persisted that Portland and New Jersey both made serious pitches for the All-Star guard. Paul can opt out of his contract after the 2011-12 season. first reported Demps' hiring by the Hornets.

photoAll-Star Media Day: Russell Westbrook
Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook sits with TNT's David Aldridge in Toronto.
photoAll-Star Media Day: Kyle Lowry
All-Star guard Kyle Lowry addresses the media at the 2016 NBA All-Star media day.
photoAll-Star Media Day: John Wall
All-Star guard John Wall chats with TNT's David Aldridge in Toronto.
photoAll-Star Media Day: Kobe Bryant
5-time NBA Champion and All-Star Kobe Bryant addresses the media at the 2016 NBA All-Star media day.
photoAll-Star Media Day: LeBron James
2-time NBA Champion and All-Star LeBron James addresses the media at the 2016 NBA All-Star media day.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.