Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 2/21 (after trade deadline)
Two comments I would’ve predicted we’d hear from the front office if the Jazz stood pat:
2) The best trades are the trades you don’t make.
We got ‘em both. :)
Message to the fans
We have a winning team that we can sell, and that we have some great hope for the future, and a ton of flexibility to continue to add to the core that is already in place. And again, as you guys have heard me, I hate to be trite here, we can react to a lot of different possibilities, and so I think of the reasons why we didn’t make any moves today is because when I inherited this position…
I’ve inherited a really good group of players and coaches. Players that have been unselfish, that have come together, that deserve at some level the ability to compete for the rest of the year. And then we have a lot of possibilities going forward.
I would tell our Jazz fans that if the average NBA team had a menu of five options, you know, the Utah Jazz, you know, has ten, ’cause we have a lot of possibilities, and now we’ve gotta, you know, potentially execute, you know, on those possibilities.
The Jazz had a “position of strength”
We felt like we had a position of strength. And that was, is we were winning, the team’s trending in the right direction, and we’re competitive. And we have a bunch of alternatives that we can react to. So when you get down to the mechanics of deals, and you know, look: Kevin O’Connor is known as being very tough as a negotiator, but really fair, and honorable.
And I think all of those attributes are worthy, and it’s something that I’d like to continue.
And so we’re not gonna apologize for having a high bar for if you want a Jazz player that’s a good player, that it comes at a premium. If you want to use some of our flexibility going forward, that comes at a premium. If you want one of our, you know, futures that Kevin has built up in our war chest from a draft perspective, that comes at a premium.
And so, and I’ve said this before, I think we made a lot of good deals today. We just said, “No.” And at the end of the day, sometimes that’s all you have.
And you know, we’re very comfortable with our decision of being, you know, playoff-competitive now [and] building towards the future in hopes to be championship-competitive in the future as well.
Were there any deals on the table?
There’s some things that we looked at. There were some things that were important to us but again, when we got down to it, you know, everybody talks about players. Let’s just talk about our cap room going forward, or talk about, you know, the want that people have in our picks.
While we’re imperfect, you know, right now we’re short of championship-caliber, we do have a lot of positives, and a lot of different potential paths we can take towards a quick rebuild, you know, if that possibility comes to fruition, or a real patient approach, you know, that is very disciplined and at some level may be needed, you know, in our market.
On off-season decisions
We hope to retain, you know, many of our guys. That will be dependent upon how we finish the season, how they follow Ty[rone Corbin]‘s leadership, how they come together, how hard they play…Then you move to, you know, what can you retain and surround about, around the players you have under contract going into next year.
And we have to be, you know, we have to think value-oriented. ‘Cause what we don’t want to happen going forward is, as much as we pride ourself on consistency with winning records and playoff appearances and character of the group, we can’t fool ourselves into making a 46-win team concrete, where all of a sudden you’re tapped out and you have no ability to change to get better. And then, you know, you’re on the mediocrity treadmill.
The thing that I would say is, you know, even though we’re playoff-competitive, which is short of our goal, we have great flexibility. So by definition, you have to be value-oriented and so while we may want to keep everybody if we trend well, at sometimes as you’ve seen with the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers or San Antonio Spurs, you know, you can’t fit it under a budget that allows you to sustain, or if you’re short in proof.
So you know, it gets back to valuations and price points and can you make a deal and then you move onto the next thing.
Any comment on the latest with Raja Bell?