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 speculation that Demps could be replaced, but multiple sources familiar with the situation have said they anticipate Demps’ return.
A source Friday said there has been no indication to this point that Demps will not be back.
Demps, who is known for keeping a low profile during the season, also has been quiet since it ended. His last meeting with reporters came March 25. When asked about his job security, Demps said, “I feel great about my job. I come to work every day and I feel great about it.”
He was expected to speak to reporters this week, but no news conference was scheduled. A spokesman said there were conflicts with Demps’ schedule.
In recent weeks, Demps has been traveling to scout in preparation for the June 23 draft. The Pelicans have the sixth slot in the draft lottery and are guaranteed a top-10 pick in the draft, with the actual spot depending on the outcome of the lottery drawing May 17.
Since the season, Demps’ travel has included a trip to Portland for the Nike Hoop Summit and a meeting at Nike’s corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. Nike will become the official shoe and apparel partner of the NBA in 2017-18.
Demps, 46, is coming off his sixth season as New Orleans’ general manager. The franchise has reached the playoffs twice in his tenure, but it fell to 22 games under .500 this season, the first under coach Alvin Gentry. Injuries and illness cost Pelicans players 351 total games.
In March, Demps seemed to indicate an expectation that he and Gentry would have a chance to return, adding that they would “right this ship.”
“It’s disappointing because we’re down right now, but we’re going to be back,” Demps said. “We’re going to be back and we’re going to do this together.”