4:29pm: Demps' extension is for three years with a team option on the fourth year, a source tells Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
9:44am: The Hornets have extended the contract of general manager Dell Demps, locking him up to a multiyear deal, the team announced today in a press release. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
"Dell has a bright future ahead as the GM of our team and Mr. [Tom] Benson and I
couldn’t be more impressed with the track this team is on and are
excited about the future," said Hornets executive VP Mickey
Loomis in the release. "He has helped shape this organization with the current team of
young, talented players and we look forward to seeing the growth of the
franchise during this exciting time for the franchise."
There was some question when Benson took over as the Hornets' owner whether he'd move forward long-term with Monty Williams as head coach and Demps as GM. However, Williams received a contract extension of his own in August, so it seems the new ownership group has liked what it's seen from both men. Both Williams' and Demps' contracts would have expired in 2013 if they had not been extended.
Since Demps was hired by the Hornets in July of 2010, he has orchestrated a number of major moves for the team, including last December's Chris Paul trade. He is the 18th longest-tenured head of basketball operations in the NBA.
It's looking more like the Lakers will have Dwight Howard in the lineup to start the regular season, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports hears the big man is determined to be ready for opening night, and that the progress he's made in recent weeks has upped his chances. Howard says his surgically repaired back is at 85%, Wojnarowski reports. The Lakers still don't have a timetable for his return, but it's just one more reason for optimism in L.A. The mood is upbeat all around the league this time of year, as teams start fresh in training camp. Here's a roundup of news from camps across the Association.
- John Reid of The Times-Picayune hears that Hornets GM Dell Demps will work in tandem with executives Mickey Loomis and Dennis Lauscha on the team's basketball-related decisions. It's unclear exactly what role everyone will play, but I imagine Demps will continue to function in the day-to-day role of most GMs.
- Ronald "Flip" Murray, who has an agreement to join the Grizzlies, was not on the camp roster released by the team today, but Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal says the journeyman guard will indeed be in camp (Twitter link).
- This could be the last training camp for Heat swingman Mike Miller, who hinted at retirement after last season and wants to see how his back responds before promising anything beyond this year, Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida writes (Sulia link). Miller's deal has more than $13MM left on it and runs through 2015, with a player option in the final season.
- Many of the Celtics veterans have been working out together since early September, while the rookies have been in Boston for most of the past three months. That's led to better chemistry as camp starts, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com writes.
In case you missed it yesterday, we published our first 2012 mock draft. Be sure to check out our projected first round and jump into the comments section to tell us which choices you like or dislike. In the meantime, we'll continue tracking the latest draft news and rumors. Tuesday's updates can be found right here, with the newest items added up top throughout the day....
- John Reid of The Times Picayune writes that the Hornets will likely keep their 10th pick. GM Dell Demps says that he hasn't received any offers warranting any serious consideration to trade the pick and believes that they can come away with a good player at that slot.
- Jared Sullinger will work out for the Cavaliers on Friday, writes Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. Fab Melo is also scheduled for a workout this week and could join Sullinger.
- James Ham of NBA.com tweeted earlier that Harrison Barnes cancelled his upcoming Friday workout with the Kings, speculating that the former Tar Heel may have been given a draft promise from a team in the top 4. However, Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated (Sulia link) was told that Barnes will reconsider working out for Sacramento after his workout with the Bobcats later this week and does not believe that Barnes was given a promise.
- Sean Meagher of Oregon Live comprised a draft link roundup of Arnett Moultrie, who recently called himself the "sleeper of the draft."
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer provides a breakdown of this year's draft crop of point guard prospects. Damian Lillard tops the list, follwed by Kendall Marshall, Tony Wroten, Marquis Teague, and Tyshawn Taylor.
- Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star tweeted that those who watched Fab Melo during his workout with the Pacers came away very impressed.
- WEEI.com continued their series of prospect profiles, this time focusing on Jeffery Taylor out of Vanderbilt.
- Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times says (via Twitter) that the Bucks will host Perry Jones III and Terrence Jones for a workout on Wednesday.
- This USA Today article via the Associated Press described Anthony Davis' visit with the Hornets today.
- Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle has the full list of prospects that withdrew from the draft before yesterday's deadline. We've updated our list of early entrants here.
- After working out for the Pacers today, Fab Melo talked about the academic issues that kept him from playing for Syracuse in this year's NCAA tournament. An Associated Press report (via NBA.com) provides the details and quotes.
- Chad Ford fielded a handful of draft questions in a chat for ESPN.com this afternoon.
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford (Insider link) is back with his newest mock draft, version 8.0. Ford's top four remain unchanged from his last mock, but there's plenty of movement after that, including Harrison Barnes to the Kings, Dion Waiters to the Warriors, and Damian Lillard to the Raptors.
- Evan Fournier is on the Grizzlies' radar at No. 25, writes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
- Anthony Davis will be in New Orleans to meet with Hornets brass today, but he won't work out for the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer thinks the Bobcats should draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist second overall.
- Draymond Green is working out for the Hawks today, according to the team (via Twitter).
- Bucks.com has the details on today's workout in Milwaukee, which features John Henson, while Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines some of the Bucks' draft options as they look to replace Andrew Bogut.
The Hornets have enjoyed good fortune off the court this spring after struggling through the 2011/2012 season with a 21-45 record. After finding a new owner in Tom Benson, New Orleans beat the odds by winning the NBA draft lottery last week which gives the team the opportunity to rebuild its roster with the top pick come June. Let's head down to the Big Easy to catch up on the latest news and headlines surrounding the Hornets...
- Hornets head coach Monty Williams and top prospect Anthony Davis have begun to forge a relationship as they may ultimately end up working together for years to come, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Williams and Davis plan to eat dinner and watch the Eastern Conference Finals together on Thursday as the pair has grown close through texting. "I know they work hard every night under Coach," Davis said. "It’s a great place to play."
- John Reid of The Times Picayune says the Hornets are continuing to explore all possible options with their 10th pick as general manager Dell Demps talks with other teams about a potential trade. "Yes, we will if it makes sense,'' Demps said. "There’s been some teams that have put young guys around a top pick. Some of the other teams have put veterans around the pick. Some have been successful both ways. I think we’re just going to look at what is going to be the best for our situation.''
- While it's all but certain that Davis will be selected first overall by the Hornets, the former Kentucky star says it isn't guaranteed that New Orleans will pick him but is optimistic about his career, regardless of where he lands, reports the Associated Press (via NBA.com). "If I keep working hard, playing hard and doing what I have to do to make my team win - do what the coaches want me to do, do what the veterans want me to do - I think the sky's the limit," Davis said.