Demps likes Pelicans' core, expects all back

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The left knee surgery Eric Gordon had scheduled on Wednesday was little more than an arthroscopic "cleanup" and all five of New Orleans' injured regulars should be ready for the start of next training camp, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said Wednesday.

Demps, who spoke as the Pelicans prepared for Wednesday night's season finale against Houston, could not immediately discuss the results of Gordon's procedure, but asserted, "I don't think it's a major surgery. ... Obviously, any time someone has surgery, it's a concern, but from what we've been told he'll be ready to go at the beginning of next season."

Ryan Anderson, who had neck surgery this month on a herniated cervical disk, also is expected to recover fully this summer, Demps said. The same goes for Jrue Holiday, who had surgery in late February for a fractured right shin; Jason Smith, who had right shoulder surgery in March; and Anthony Davis, who has been sidelined since last week with back soreness.

Whether all those players are still wearing Pelicans jerseys when next season starts remains to be seen. Demps did not rule out trading anyone other than All-Star forward Anthony Davis, who he called "the cornerstone of what we're doing here." Yet Demps also indicated he wanted to see more from the group of players he brought in last offseason with the hope of making a playoff push right away.

New Orleans' top five scorers — in terms of average per game — are Davis (20.8 points per game), Anderson (19.8), Gordon (15.4), Holiday (14.3) and Tyreke Evans (14.3).