The Pelican Blog

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Demps discusses draft-night options

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Dell Demps had barely taken his seat at Tuesday’s press conference before noting that he wasn’t expecting to provide much information to the media. After all, the 2013 NBA Draft takes place in just over 48 hours. In terms of strategy, the GM does not want to tip his hand to the other 29 NBA teams.

“What questions can I not answer today?” Demps half-joked to reporters. Still, during a 15-minute press conference Demps covered a range of topics related to Thursday’s proceedings. Here are a few highlights:

• The Pelicans only held one group draft workout because of hesitation by prospects to visit. “The main reason we only had one workout was it’s hard to get guys to come in and work out for you,” Demps said. “Guys that think they’re a top two or three pick, they don’t want to work out for a team with the sixth pick. Guys that are projected 8 to 12 don’t think you’re going to take them; they don’t want to waste their time.”

• Along with the Pelicans’ draft workout that featured Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams and Alex Len, Demps noted that he met with Ben McLemore on Sunday. He traveled to meet Victor Oladipo and Anthony Bennett.

• Asked if he has spoken to Cleveland about trading for the No. 1 pick, Demps said he did not want to speculate. In terms of moving up or down, Demps said “I don’t anticipate us doing much before the draft, but you never know.”

• Demps on expectations for the No. 6 pick: “There’s a chance it’s a guy who can help you right away. There’s a chance he’s a guy who can help you down the line.”

• On possibility of adding a veteran via draft or free agency, Demps said: “If a situation presented itself where we could trade the pick and get a player who’s going to help us for a long period of time, we would do that. What we try to stay away from is trading a pick and you get a guy who’s going to help you short term. That’s where it gets risky.”

• On whether the Pelicans may trade for a second-round pick, Demps: “I think there are some very good players who are going to be available throughout the draft, including the second round. If something comes available and a guy we have targeted is there, we would look at it.”

• Demps indicated that it’s not likely a replacement for former assistant GM Tim Connelly will be named soon, based on how busy the front office is amid draft preparations.