NEW ORLEANS – Hornets general manager Dell Demps said the team fielded a plethora of calls about possible trades prior the league’s 2 p.m. deadline but ultimately decided that none were good options for the team’s long-term future.
That includes shifting center Chris Kaman elsewhere or buying out the center from the rest of his contract.
“We value Chris,” Demps said. “The door is not closed on him. I think he has had a good season. He has proven he can score the basketball. As we move forward, he has been very impressive, especially the last few weeks. The door is not closed on Chris. We’ll have rights this summer so we think there are a lot of opportunities still with Chris.”
Kaman said he figured last night he would still be with the Hornets.
“I didn’t anticipate being moved after all that whole situation before when they couldn’t find a trade or whatever,” Kaman said. “The trade didn’t work out that they had and I kept hearing things were kind of dead."
Demps said he was surprised by the amount of activity that took place on the market at the last minute, saying it was quiet heading into the final few days.
But he’s not disappointed the Hornets couldn’t consummate a deal.
“There were some opportunities out there,” Demps said. “We looked at possibilities in improving the team for the long-term. Nothing presented itself.”
“For me, I talked to Dell a lot today and I think we get better because we have the same guys who know our system,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “We don’t have teach anybody else anything new besides the 10-day guys who come in and out. But it’s one of those situations that I don’t think you can really evaluate it until down the line.”
Demps discounted any perception that the league was too closely involved in the process, saying he worked “hand-in-hand” with the league office, saying the end of the process was more about no good deal presenting itself more than anything else.
“We’re happy where we are right now,” Demps said. “We’re not happy with our record but we’re happy with the direction the team is going. We maintain flexibility. We have some picks coming up. And we have an opportunity to see some of the young guys the rest of the year.
“We’re excited about the possibilities.”