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Pelicans offseason lookahead: After an injury-filled season full of disappointment, significant changes could be coming

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Pelicans could make sweeping changes or small ones this offseason. They could break the bank with big moves or reshuffle the roster with meaningful miniature ones. The one thing they can’t do is stand pat. At least that’s the way Kenny Smith sees it. “There’s got to be a mix-up,” said… Continue reading →

Dell Demps’ Monday news conference off

New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps will not hold a news conference Monday as originally scheduled, the team announced on Sunday. No reason was given for the decision, which the Pelicans announced in a release saying the news conference would be “rescheduled at a later date.” The change is the latest twist in an uncertain weekend… Continue reading →

Source: Dell Demps’ future with Pelicans not decided yet

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Alvin Gentry holds up a jersey as he is introduced as the Pelicans' new head coach in June. Pelicans Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis, left, and Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps join him onstage. Gentry is bringing a new, uptempo system with him, and the Pelicans  hope that roster stability from last season will aid in the transition to the faster-paced style.

The New Orleans Pelicans have not made a final decision about the future of general manager Dell Demps or any other part of the team’s basketball operations, a source familiar with the situation said Saturday night. There is a “careful evaluation” of the club’s basketball operations underway, a source said, as is the case after every season.… Continue reading →

Sources: Pelicans’ Dell Demps expected to return as general manager; news conference expected Monday

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- New Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, right, shares a laugh with Pelicans Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis, left, and Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps on June 22, 2015, during a news conference.

Dell Demps has been in regular contact with New Orleans Pelicans management since the end of the season, and indications are that the general manager will return for the 2016-17 season, sources told The Advocate on Friday. Demps is expected to hold a news conference Monday. The Pelicans’ 30-52 record this season led to… Continue reading →

Alvin Gentry and the New Orleans Pelicans had an ever-evolving roster; here’s how the juggling act played out

New Orleans Pelicans, from left to right, guard Norris Cole, forward Anthony Davis, forward Alonzo Gee and guard Bryce Dejean-Jones, all with season-ending injuries, sit in the waning seconds in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in New Orleans, Saturday, April 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) ORG XMIT: LAGH110

If you forced him, Alvin Gentry could do it. Put the Pelicans coach on the spot, and he’s confident he could name every one of the players who spent time on his roster this season. “It would take a little time,” Gentry said with a laugh. “Obviously, I could name all the guys on the (season-ending) roster,… Continue reading →

Rod Walker: Can anyone dethrone the Warriors? These four teams have a shot — but won’t get it done

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives around San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, of France, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

The Golden State Warriors’ quest for a second straight NBA championship won’t pass through the bumpy roads of New Orleans this year. The Pelicans, as you know, missed out on the playoffs in what was a brutal season, seemingly never recovering from that 3-point dagger that Stephen Curry drained over the outstretched arms of… Continue reading →

Pivotal offseason for Pelicans, coach Alvin Gentry

It’s been 10 months since a champagne drenched Alvin Gentry looked into the camera on national television and told Anthony Davis “we’re going to be right back here next year.” The “we” he was referring to were the Pelicans. The “here”, of course, was in a locker room celebrating an NBA championship.… Continue reading →

With disappointing season in the books, Pelicans look to future

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry gestures in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 3, 2016, in New York. The Pelicans defeated the Nets 106-87. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Alvin Gentry settled into a chair before an assemblage of reporters, and the Pelicans coach didn’t waste any time getting to the point. “It was a tough year,” Gentry said Thursday to open his postseason news conference. “It was a very tough year.” So Gentry is ready to take steps to… Continue reading →

Blowout loss brings merciful end to tough season for Pelicans

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) grabs a loose ball from New Orleans Pelicans guard Tim Frazier (2) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

The Pelicans’ season reached its merciful end Wednesday. But long before New Orleans’ final chapter came with a 144-109 loss to the Timberwolves in Minneapolis, Alvin Gentry had turned the page. “I’m excited,” Gentry told The Advocate this week. “I’m thinking next year. I’m thinking healthy guys. I’m thinking (of) being able to have a training camp… Continue reading →

Pelicans, Timberwolves follow different paths to building rosters

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, right, tries to drive under pressure from Houston Rockets forward Clint Capela, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Monday, April 11, 2016. The Rockets won 129-105. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

The Pelicans are looking down in the standings at Minnesota. But for the Timberwolves, things are looking up. The two teams will play in Minneapolis on Wednesday in the season finale for both. There will be no playoffs for either, and they’ll enter the game separated by just two wins, the Pelicans… Continue reading →

Battling to the end: Pelicans fall to Bulls 121-116 in home finale

New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik (3) makes a dunk against Chicago Bulls forward Cristiano Felicio in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, April 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

There were plenty of fans missing at the Smoothie King Center on Monday night, plenty of empty seats as the Pelicans lost 121-116 to the Chicago Bulls in their home finale. But the makeshift Pelicans — who had eight players available Monday and 10 injured — drew loud cheers from the thousands of fans who did… Continue reading →

James Ennis out to show he’s more than a dunker

Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) goes to the basket between New Orleans Pelicans forward James Ennis (4) and center Alexis Ajinca in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, April 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Everybody who knew James Ennis knew he could dunk. If you’d heard of the swingman, who’s played the past seven games with the Pelicans and has signed with the team through the rest of the season, there’s a good chance it’s because of the slam he threw down on the Washington Wizards last season when he was… Continue reading →

Pelicans play flat, get flattened by Suns

Associated Press photo by Gerald Herbert -- Pelicans forward Dante Cunningham is held by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker as he drives to the basket in the first half Saturday night in the Smoothie King Center. Booker had 16 points, five assists and four rebounds in the Suns' 121-100 win. Cunningham scored 13 points.

Maybe there’s something to be gained from losing. Maybe the Pelicans’ 121-100 loss to the Phoenix Suns Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center was something of a win. Maybe a better chance to jump up in the NBA draft in June is worth getting beaten down in April. That’s not exactly how New Orleans coach… Continue reading →

Pelicans forward Anthony Davis back walking without crutches after knee procedure

Alvin Gentry calls them “baby steps,” but every little step Anthony Davis takes is important for the Pelicans. The franchise forward’s rehab from a left knee procedure is in the “early stages,” Gentry said before Saturday’s game against the Phoenix Suns at the Smoothie King Center. But a little more than two weeks removed from… Continue reading →

A legend’s final visit: The Pelicans reflect on Kobe Bryant’s career

Advocate photo by ROD WALKER -- Kobe Bryant fans were out in force for his final game in the Smoothie King Center on Friday, April 8, 2016. Top row, from left: Rizgar Haji, Ahmed Mohamed, Dewar Mohamed and Reno Haji. Bottom row: Nick and Donyale Garrett

Dante Cunningham, forward “A legend. Someone I’ve looked up to growing up. Playing in Philadelphia (at Villanova), he was obviously a big name. His high school was right around the corner from my college. Honestly, a great all-time player. This year has been awesome, just because it’s his last go-round and you’re a… Continue reading →

Pelicans role players steal the spotlight during Kobe Bryant’s final visit to New Orleans, lead home team to 110-102 win

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant greets fans as he leaves the court after an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Friday, April 8, 2016. The Pelicans won 110-102. Bryant says he will be retiring at the end of the season, thus his last NBA game in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

On a night when New Orleans said goodbye to an NBA superstar, Alvin Gentry said hello to another. An hour before his Pelicans beat the Lakers 110-102 on Friday in Los Angeles legend Kobe Bryant’s final game at the Smoothie King Center, Gentry walked into the New Orleans locker room and jokingly introduced himself to Anthony… Continue reading →

Pelicans sign forward James Ennis for remainder of season, sources say

Denver Nuggets guard D.J. Augustin (12) drives against New Orleans Pelicans forward James Ennis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

. The Pelicans liked what they found. New Orleans forward James Ennis, whose 10-day contract expires on Friday, will be signed for the remainder of the season, per league sources. He joins a growing list of Pelicans players who were initially added on 10-day contracts but found longer-term homes in New Orleans, including Bryce DeJean-Jones,… Continue reading →

Celtics fight off Pelicans late for 104-97 win

Boston Celtics' Isaiah Thomas (4) goes up to shoot against New Orleans Pelicans' Alexis Ajinca, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON — The Celtics entered the week focused on improving their playoff position over their final five regular-season games. They had to dig deep to prevent a short-handed Pelicans team from throwing a big wrinkle in those plans. Isaiah Thomas scored 32 points to help the Celtics fend off short-handed New Orleans 104-97 on… Continue reading →

76ers belt Pelicans to avoid NBA record for futility

PHILADELPHIA — These 76ers are relieved not to be part of history. Carl Landry scored 22 points to lead Philadelphia to a 107-93 victory over the injury-depleted New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night, ensuring that the 76ers won’t tie their own league record for fewest victories in an 82-game season. “We… Continue reading →

Pelicans winning games, falling back on lottery chances

The Pelicans are winning. And losing ground. New Orleans has won two straight and three of its past four as it faces the 76ers on Tuesday in Philadelphia, and the Sixers are a reminder of why those wins might not be such a good thing. Philadelphia (9-68) has clinched the NBA’s worst record and therefore the league’s best… Continue reading →

New Orleans Pelicans hustle past Denver Nuggets 101-95

New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik (3) and Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, right, and center Nikola Jokic wait for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

They fight for rebounds and scrap for loose balls. They look to push the pace and move the ball. In a way, the Pelicans look a lot like Alvin Gentry hoped they would by the end of the season. And, of course, they look nothing like he expected. With backups starting and replacement parts… Continue reading →

Spurs beat Pelicans, set NBA record with 38-0 start at home

San Antonio Spurs forwards Kawhi Leonard, left, and Tim Duncan, right, defend New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik, of Turkey, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 30, 2016 in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani)

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs set the NBA record with their 38th straight home victory to open the season and matched the highest win total in franchise history. And none of them cared. Manu Ginobili scored 20 points and the Spurs beat the injury-depleted New Orleans Pelicans 100-92 on Wednesday night to… Continue reading →