Timberwolves hire Jazz Dell Demps on rebound for FO role

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s a case of turnabout is fair play. Minnesota Timberwolves President Tim Connelly is hiring former New Orleans Pelicans GM and current Utah Jazz assistant coach Dell Demps for an as yet undetermined role in the team’s front office. This is in all likelihood a repayment to Demps who once hired Connelly as the Assistant General Manager for the Pelicans in 2010.

Sometimes, it’s what you know. Sometimes it’s who you know. If you know the Minnesota Timberwolves President Tim Connelly and need a new NBA role, you may be in luck.

But was this simply one buddy helping out another buddy?

Perhaps not. Demps is an NBA executive who has historically favored NBA veterans over NBA rookies. So why would a draft guru like Tim Connelly willingly add a voice to the room who will undoubtedly lobby for veterans?

Demps and the unique chapter with the Pelicans

Demps was the guy who drafted Anthony Davis with the first overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft and then tried to find complementary pieces for the remainder of his time as Pelicans GM.  But for much of his tenure, he found himself on the lesser end of NBA trade packages.

Much of his reputation was unearned. Demps was hired on to be general manager of the New Orleans franchise, as the NBA league reclaimed the team. Demps would ‘manage’ the team while under the NBA oversight, which was no way to put the team on track. Ultimately, Tom Benson (who owned the NFL New Orleans Saints) purchased the New Orleans team from the NBA in 2012.

Demps continued to run the Pelicans but was fired in 2019 after he failed to come to an agreement to trade NBA star Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.  While that ended his time at the helm of the Pelicans, it did not end his NBA career.

Demps is a solid hire. He has good NBA instincts, has a solid working relationship with Tim Connelly, and has plenty of invaluable experience to draw from. Most of all, he will help to balance out the Minnesota Timberwolves brain trust.

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