Monty Williams declined to elaborate today after telling reporters that he and the Pelicans haven’t spoken about an extension on his deal with the team, which runs out after next season, as John Reid of The Times-Picayune relays. New Orleans plans an evaluation of Williams as well as GM Dell Demps after the season, Reid hears. Demps’ contract has a team option for 2015/16, but the Pelicans haven’t given any indication about whether they’ll pick that up, according to Reid.
Williams did point to the team’s accomplishments this season, one in which New Orleans has a chance at the playoffs if it can make up a deficit of two and a half games to catch the Thunder for the final playoff spot. Ryan Anderson also offered his support, saying that Williams has “handled everything perfectly,” Reid notes.
”Look at the improvements we’ve made — we were 34 wins last year,” Williams said. ”I don’t want to think that far ahead, but we’ve overcome a lot. I don’t think our guys get enough credit for what they’ve been able to do under some weird circumstances. We’ll see how we finish up. One of our goals this year was to have a winning record and we want it badly to make the playoffs. We have a chance to do both, so I would say we have come a long way.”
Williams has reportedly been under pressure this season, his fifth as coach of the Pelicans, who haven’t appeared in the playoffs since his first year in charge of the team. There was a perception around the league at midseason that he and Demps were on “thin ice,” as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders wrote at the time. Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported in January that there was talk around the NBA that owner Tom Benson, who’s since been embroiled in a legal battle regarding control of the team, was eyeing former Pistons president of basketball ops Joe Dumars and former Mavs and Nets coach Avery Johnson. Still, Bucher heard that New Orleans hadn’t contacted either and that there were no definitive signs that the Pelicans wanted to move on from Demps and Williams.