METAIRIE, La. — It appears the Pelicans have six players in sight for their first – and only – draft pick Thursday night.
The only question, however, is what order they’re listed in on the draft board of general manager Dell Demps.
New Orleans has either interviewed or worked out six players, including one forward (UNLV’s Anthony Bennett), three guards (Michigan’s Trey Burke, Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams and Kansas’s Ben McLemore), one center (Maryland’s Alex Len) and one combo guard/forward (Indiana’s Victor Oladipo).
The problem for Demps, though, is that at No. 6, where the Pelicans will pick, it’s tough to get players to come interview for the job.
“We only had one workout and the main reason we only had one workout is that it’s hard to get guys to come work out for you,” Demps said Tuesday, a little more than 48 hours before the draft. “Guys that think they are top two or three picks don’t want to work out for a team with the sixth pick and guys that are projected to be taken eighth through 12th don’t think you’re going to take them so they don’t to waste their time.”
New Orleans will return a bulk of their players from this past season’s roster. The biggest free agent is its starting small forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who hasn’t hit on his potential.
But Demps wasn’t prepared Tuesday to tip his hand at just what he and his associates had in mind for Thursday’s annual players selection process.
“As they say, loose lips sink ships so I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can today but please understand at this time of year it’s just tough to reveal too many things,” Demps said. “I’d love to tell all of the fans what we’re trying to do and what our goals are that we’re trying to accomplish but there’s always that fear that other teams will jump on the Internet, read my quotes and try to beat us to the punch.”