New Orleans general manager Dell Demps has exhibited an unquestioned patience. Following the trade of Chris Paul and losing David West to free agency, the once-competitive franchise was forced to begin from scratch, initially avoiding potential relocation when Saints owner Tom Benson purchased the team, and then attempting to move forward with the No. 1 overall pick in 2012.
Anthony Davis has continued to develop and Demps has placed even more young talent around the defensive menace. The former Hornets and now Pelicans have waited for a year like this, to not only be competitive but successful.
New Orleans enters this season as a potential playoff team or at least a team that will be fun to watch. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @gwashNBAGlobe. Material from interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.