Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN details Pelicans GM Dell Demps‘ process of rebuilding New Orleans’ roster after trading away Chris Paul in 2011. A mixture of good and bad results have come from that blockbuster trade (Eric Gordon), drafting (selecting Anthony Davis last year, trading Nerlens Noel for Jrue Holiday this year), and free agency (Ryan Anderson, then Tyreke Evans via a sign-and-trade with the Kings that also sent away Robin Lopez), and the team has little flexibility in the near future. Coach Monty Williams is unhappy with the current roster’s performance, but a slew of injuries this year has limited a thorough roster evaluation, as well as the team’s performance. “The errors in planning are easy to enumerate and Demps tacitly admits some of his primary goals are cleaning up his own mistakes,” writes Arnovitz. “Fortunately for the Pelicans, a single truth lies beneath the spreadsheets: When you have a budding star like Anthony Davis, you can afford to make mistakes.” Here’s more from around the division:
- It cost roughly $200K for the Pelicans to buy recent signee Luke Babbitt out of his contract with BC Nizhny Novgorod, reveals Marc Stein of ESPN.com. New Orleans also paid $575K to pry Alexis Ajinca from his French team this season.
- The Rockets have assigned Robert Covington to the D-League, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Covington has spent most of the year in the D-League, owning the longest assignment stretch of the season after a 72-game stint that ended in January.
- Shannon Brown tells Jeff McDonald of San Antonio Express-News that he’s working hard to extend his time with the Spurs beyond his current 10-day contract, which expires Tuesday per our 10-Day Tracker.“All I can do is going out and give my best, do what the guys ask me to,” Brown says. “Let the chips fall where they may. I’m going to play hard no matter what. That’s one thing they aren’t going to be able to say about me, that I didn’t battle.”
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.