Hurricanes offseason review
- By Tim McManus, Day 1, 2021
NEW ORLEANS - GM Tim McManus walks into the press conference room and takes a seat at the podium.
Tim - "Good morning everyone ... thanks for coming out today! I want to address a few things before taking any questions. The Hurricanes have had a very busy offseason. A lot of changes have been made and I would like to talk about them for a moment."
"First, as you may already know we were very excited to come to an agreement with Ryan Pierce on a max contract extension that will keep Ryan a Hurricane thru the 2025 season. Ryan is an integral part of what we are trying to accomplish here and we couldn’t be happier to get this done."
"Second, we traded Jermaine Wade to the Dallas Predators to acquire #20 pick in the 2021 draft. We loved having Jermaine a part of the Hurricanes but with this draft being a very deep draft we didn't feel we could pass up the opportunity to gain an extra 1st round pick. In our season ending interview with Jermaine, he expressed his desire to be a starter and trading him to the Predators will give him that opportunity."
"Third, the draft this year brought some challenges with the league expanding we had some very hard decisions to make as far as protecting players and how that was going to work out with our drafted players. We traded our #20 and #51 and 2022 1st to the Blizzards for their #12 pick allowing us to take a player we had rated as a top 5 player on our board, Deron Bentley, giving us much needed help at SG and SF. Our #19 pick was used to pick SF/SG Jalan Howard, who gives us even more depth and versatility at SF and SG. We then sent our 2021 2nd round pick #52 and 2023 2nd round pick to the K.C. knights for the Knights 2021 2nd round pick #48. We were able to pick-up a promising PG Sergio Loyola. We are very pleased with the outcome of the draft and are excited to have all three players as part of the Hurricanes team."
"Fourth, this may have been the hardest part of the process, we lost last year’s first round draft pick SG Kareem Gaines and SF James Livingston in the expansion draft. We were in the unfortunate position that we couldn't protect everyone and ultimately decided that protecting all three draft picks were in the team’s best interests. We wish Kareem and James the best of luck in the upcoming season and beyond."
"And last, we re-signed PG Tyson Kuberka to a 4 year contract. Re-signing Tyson was definitely a top priority in free agency. Tyson is one of the top PG's in the league and we are ecstatic to have him back. We also signed Dartray McIntosh to a 2 year contract giving us depth at the SF, SG positions and Brian Sankes giving us depth at PF."
"It seems I was a little long winded the morning so I will only take a couple questions."
Jeff from ESPN – "Kuberka was eligible for a max extension this season ... why let him go to free agency and take a chance on losing him?"
Tim – "That’s a good question Jeff. We had a meeting with Tyson to discuss an extension and Tyson expressed at that meeting that he really wanted to test the waters in free agency. Tyson knew how much we wanted him to be a part of the Hurricanes team and we felt that he also wanted that. We knew there was a possibility that he would sign elsewhere but we also knew that we were in the position to make the best offer."
Pat from New Orleans Gazette – "You've lost 7 players from last season’s roster. That seems like a lot of turnover."
Tim – "Well Pat, Uhhh ... what’s the question? Just joking ... I can answer a statement. We knew that our weakness last season was at the wings and to get better there we had to make some changes. We also lost players in the expansion draft at those positions which didn't help matters. Like I said earlier, some unknowns came with the expansion draft which forced us to scramble a little bit to try and cover ourselves for all the possibilities. We look forward to see what the young guys do on the court. I know Coach Foster is very excited to get to work and get the season underway."
Jeff – "Leon Bowen will be a free agent after the season. Do you anticipate signing him to an extension considering his cost will probably be huge?"
Tim – "Jeff, we will sit down with Leon at some point and discuss his future with the Hurricanes and hopefully get an extension done. Leon is a cornerstone of what we are trying to build here and we will make sure he knows we feel that way."
Pat – "Were you satisfied with last season considering you missed the playoffs? And will this season be a failure if you don’t make the playoffs?"
Tim – "Well, we were in the playoff race late into the season so I was happy about that ... but missing the playoffs was disappointing. We finished with a winning record for the first time in team history which shows we are going in the right direction. I fully expect to be in the playoff race this season, but we are also very young. I wouldn’t say the season would be a failure if our young players develop the way we hope. Missing the playoffs would be disappointing maybe but not necessarily a failure. We still have a long way to go but I am encouraged and excited about this upcoming season."
"Thanks everyone for coming out today"