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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 5/24

May 25, 2013
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Do you think the draft is more important to small market teams than big market teams?
Yeah, I do. I do. I think, clearly, there’s, you know, three ways to team-build: draft, free agency, and trade. And what else, you know, our status, you know, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, I think it’s clear that when you build out your team, the, it’s incumbent that you start with the draft in a smaller market.

But you know, that’s possible and that certainly is, you know, good luck is very important. You know, hopefully, you’re skillful in that aspect, but you know, there’s going to be certain markets that can use free agency in such a way where, that may be a little bit more difficult.

But you know, that’s okay, you know? And the fact that we have to do it organic like that, and you be, may have to be a little bit more patient.

And again, I, you know, I mentioned a little bit earlier that you have to be fortunate that if you are in a rebuilding phase, that, inside it–not any one particular year but inside that phase–you have to be, you have to have some good fortune on your side that, you know, when your record’s not so good, and hopefully a lottery ball finds your way, that there’s a player there.

On scouting strengths and weaknesses, and Karl Malone
At the end of the day, let’s be honest. You don’t know…

I had a old-time scout that for whatever reason took a likening to me my first, sec–it was my second or third year in the league. And he was, you know, giving me some wisdom about how tough this business is. And you know, he said, “What do you think the scouting report was on Karl Malone when he came out?” …

I said I had no idea, “You tell me.” I didn’t know where he was going. And he said, “Well, you know, I have it, and if the whole league’s being truthful, one of the reports was he didn’t run the court.” And he said, “Now you’re talking about, literally, the all-time best at running the court.”

What happened? Who would’ve known he would’ve played with a, arguably, a top three point guard of all time, that every time he ran, he was rewarded? You know, so it encouraged him to run more.

Who would’ve known that he would’ve gone to altitude and it conditioned him in such a way that, again, he was rewarded for running, out-running his opponent?

Who would’ve known he would’ve become, you know, a all-time great conditioning nut that really became so devout in his conditioning that he, you know, played effectively for all these years without injury? So that’s how humbling the business is.

How involved will Tyrone Corbin be in your drafting process?
Very. Very. …

You know, it’s, you know, it’s really a shared decision, you know, on a lot of things…To hand your coach a player that he has no input on, you know, just is not a best practice.

And the other thing is, is you wanna have a good idea of, one of our more important jobs as scouts and management, is to, you know, quickly educate the coaches, you know, ’cause they haven’t been out [scouting] all year long, on what they have. And that’s one of the better things, in my opinion, that we did in San Antonio…

That’s the real beauty in Ty, is that he believes in players, and he doesn’t throw ‘em under the bus, and you know, the glass is, you know, literally running over.

And in this phase that we’re in, you know, asset maximization is a huge part of us being, you know, us being able to move forward as an organization.

Are you eager to put your imprint on the Jazz?
You know, this, I’m not trying to put my stamp on a team, so to speak, or leave my imprint. I just really want us to come up with the right questions, the most appropriate and highest-leverage questions, that, so we can start working on the right answers.

And we’ll get some right. Hopefully, we’ll get a, you know, a lot more right than we do, get wrong, and then, you know, quickly correct those mistakes. But you know, I’m just really anxious to be part of the process.

I think Kevin [O'Connor] and I, for right or wrong, during the season, we were patient. I think right, but you know, time will tell, you know, ’cause, you know, what, the things that we could do last year, we decided to have a higher bar and take a pass on…We’ll have to be accountable for those things.

Other bits (summarized)
** When do you start scouting prospects? For international prospects, as early as 16 years old. For American high school students, legally starting at the McDonald’s game.
** When do you finalize your draft board? 24-48 hours before the draft, though rankings can change with new medical information, proposed trades, etc. (1280)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. steppx permalink
    May 25, 2013 10:59 pm

    great story about Malone.And see, this is why advanced stats are so limited. Its fashionable now….but truth is, you have to have instincts……this year, you watch, Im praying the jazz get dennis schroder….hands down a decidedly better player than trey burke or carter williams. In fact,best player in draft in MHO. But you have to guess sometimes…trust instincts……

    • MyKroberts permalink
      May 26, 2013 3:07 pm

      Going to have to disagree with the thrust of your statement. Of course all stats (and all sources of information) have limitations. They DID NOT have adv stats for Karl Malone so to imply teams missing on him was because advanced stats didn’t have the full story is odd – it was their instincts they were relying on when teams passed on him.

      All sources of information are helpful with the proper context and considerations – advanced stats are only going to increase in importance as they get refined.

      • steppx permalink
        May 26, 2013 4:13 pm

        I wasnt referring the Malone. But no, they wont become more important as they get “refined” because basketball isnt baseball. It is a much different game., and Ive read now larry brown, Hollins, and Pop all politely say the same thing. The influence of Hollinger in Memphis was seen in the rudy gay trade. How does that trade look this morning? Advanced stats are the new opiate of the geek class….certainly popular now….but I have doubts about any enduring importance.

        • MyKroberts permalink
          May 27, 2013 2:28 am

          The Rudy Gay trade has and still looks great. I stand by the idea that more information is definitely better.

        • May 27, 2013 2:32 am

          maybe your not watching the same western finals Im watching.

        • MyKroberts permalink
          May 27, 2013 4:47 am

          It is quite the assumption that Memphis would be doing better if they had Gay considering they were much improved defensively AND offensively without him in the larger sample size preceding this series. Losing in the conference finals does not make Memphis or the previous trade bad – it is quite possible SA is simply a better team. To suggest the series loss is the result of one player (or any one variable) is simply not honest argumentation.

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