Pelicans GM On Jackson, Smith, Morrow

The Pelicans endured a nightmare season, losing Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson and a host of others for significant time because of injury. They finished 34-48, far outside the playoff race but with little chance of moving up in the lottery to keep their first-round pick from going to the Sixers. GM Dell Demps said this week that he likes the team’s core and wants to see more of it at full health. He had plenty more to say in his season-ending press conference, and John Reid of The Times Picayune transcribes his remarks. His entire piece is worth a look, especially for Pelicans fans, but we’ll pass along Demps’ most relevant quotes here:

On Jason Smith, an unrestricted free agent this summer:

”It hurt when we lost Jason [to a knee injury]. But obviously we want to continue getting better. [We] like what he brings to the core, like his ability to shoot, his energy and he’s a good guy in the locker room. [But] you also look at how you improve your roster. We’ll look at that, but we can do both.”

On Pierre Jackson:

”He’s an interesting one. He played really good in the D-League. I think he was the leading scorer. We’ve followed him and been in contact with him. When we made the trade last year, we knew we were giving up our draft pick and we kind of looked at him as our draft pick for this year. So we have his draft rights and he’s going to be experienced, a little bit older. Can I promise Pierre Jackson is going to be on our team next year? I can’t say that right now. But he’s definitely an asset. I want to make sure I say that. He’s done everything and exceeded expectations.”

On whether Anthony Morrow will exercise his roughly $1.15MM player option for 2014/15:

”You’ll have to talk to Anthony about that. Obviously, Anthony has a player option at the end of this season. I think he had a very good year for us. I think he’s helped us win some games. We like Anthony and there are some things we can’t talk about right now because of certain rules. But we do love Anthony.”

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