Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 6/20
** Dennis Lindsey to Gordon Monson, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine (UDQM): I even saw your column, Gordon, and I thought about opening it up this morning, but I figured I’d go in and have a pure heart instead of trying to please Gordon relative to the draft. So I saw the title, but I didn’t open up the meat of the article. So maybe after the interview here, you can fill me in.
Which would you prefer to draft right now, a players that’s ready to contribute right away or a player with a higher ceiling that will need a few years to develop?
Really, at [the fifth pick], we have multiple examples of…guys that, we could clearly move back and take someone who has a more definitive skill, that we could say, “Hey, this could help us right now.” And maybe that will carry the day, but really, the challenge is, is to do the right thing for the club long term.
I think, I can’t get selfish with, you know, my job or my job security and sometimes what may be right for the next iteration of the team the following season, might not be best for the long term of the club…
I think you could probably point out some guys that did more their rookie year [than Gordon Hayward], and if you’re grading along a one-year curve, maybe it wasn’t the best selection, but as the career has gone on multi-year, I think they did very well with that.
So there’re numerous examples of that factored in, and we have to be mindful of both. We need to move the group forward next year, and show some progress, but maybe the right thing to do is, is that very young player with the fifth pick is sitting and watching and developing in practice moreso than he is helping the group next year. So, we’re definitely weighing that issue right now.
Not telling you.
What kind of players are you looking for in this year’s draft?
That’s the interesting thing about the draft, is there’s athleticism, there’s some guys–and I’m speaking relative to [the fifth pick] right now–there’s guys who can really rebound the ball, there’s guys that will need to be developed in some areas but they’re good kids.
So there’s, you know, you guys know how fluid the draft is. Certainly, with the situation with [Joel] Embiid, we wanna stay on top of that, and what that means relative to his prospects moving forward, and frankly the order, on how it can impact the order and who we’re looking at.
So, there’s, as always it’s, every draft is a much different animal, but I think we have a great asset at five, and we hope to capitalize on it in a big way.
Not telling you.
** Dennis Lindsey, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: And so Greg Miler was huge, Randy Rigby was huge, Justin [Zanik], [David] Fred[man] and [Richard] “Smitty” [Smith]; Walt [Perrin], Bart [Taylor], all those guys really touched our candidates for the head coaching position.
What attracted you to new Jazz assistant coach Mike Wells?
You know, the, we’re not official with all of our guys, and it’s important for Quin [Snyder] to appropriately release the, his staff.
We’re really excited the staff that Quin put together and we’ll be doing that as soon as all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. But we’re certainly excited about the staff, and we look forward to talking about that in the near future.*
* Funny, because Randy Rigby already (accidentally?) confirmed the Mike Wells hire.
Have you always had a group of people in mind that you wanted as part of your front office when you became GM?
I think you always keep a hiring list, and there were people that I worked with more and probably more friendly w–than, Quin and I were friendly, but I’d say there were closer friends out there, if you, so you hafta remove that, aside, and really, it was a really team-oriented process to put the new coaching staff in place on how we did things…
And Quin had been of like mind. He’s hired some guys that he knows very well. He’s hired some guys that, frankly, he didn’t know other than their name in passing. So, I think there has to be a balance.
I knew Freddy and Smitty and Walt because we were in competition against the Jazz in the playoffs for a long time. I loved how they operated. I love what Kevin [O'Connor] built here. It wasn’t broke. The experience factor here was so significant, and they were honorable men, so we felt like continuity was the right thing to do.
So, I understand the question. I think there’s probably a little more balance to the approach and maybe the question would lead you to believe otherwise. So, the familiarity is key.
I think Quin wants to implement some concepts that, some things that we did in San Antonio and Austin. And Brad [Jones]* is a good person to help him implement some of the offensive and defensive concepts, and we have some others that do have some corporate knowledge of what Quin wants to do.
And then there’s other guys that Quin has been able to watch their skillsets and get to know, and have great appreciation for, and that he think will be value-adds to him and to the program.
But, and certainly there are times where familiarity can rule the day, but y–as Kevin hired me, you know, we were, Kevin and I were very friendly on the row, but Kevin’s really competitive and I think I’m competitive.
So there was always a line of demarcation that we could never really breach to, on a friendship level, and he said it very well. He said, “Look, I don’t hire my friends.” It’s his philosophy. “But once I hire you, we’re gonna become great friends.” And I think that’s a statement that I really like and have tried to stand by.
* The confirmation that Brad Jones will remain on the coaching staff is also funny because whereas Rigby confirmed Wells’ hire, he wouldn’t confirm Jones’ place on the coaching staff. KOC is rolling in his grave.
Can you address the Derrick Favors and the fifth pick to the Cavaliers for the first pick rumors?
Understand why you need to ask, and I get it, but we would never, never confirm or deny. It’s not the way we go about things, and we’ll keep all conversations, or non-conversation, close to the vest.
What do you do when a trade rumor involving one of your player breaks? Do you contact your player?
Every situation, I can understand the question. Every situation’s different. There, it’s amazing the inaccuracy of what’s going on, and I’m not totally sure what you’re referring to.
I think I understand the situation that you’re referring to, but I’ve been so immersed into video and what we’re doing relative to the first pick*, I’m not sure I understand any and all the topics that may be burning up Twitter and some of the social media things.
So the social media deal and what’s going on out there is just that, and I think I could waste a lot of time in doing that.
Now, if there are things in conversation that we need to have with players and agents, and, we’ll do so, and own those things that we need to own. And look, everybody understands, this is, it’s a team-building business and you have to do what you have to do.
But yeah, frankly we’re very comfortable with all the relationships that we have, past and current, because the Miller family and the way Scott [Layden] has done it and Kevin’s done it, is very honorable way to conduct themselves, and a big way that we conduct ourselves is we just keep our business private. (1280)
The players are on a need-to-know basis.
* Lindsey may have meant the Jazz’s first round pick, but throughout the rest of this interview he referred to the pick as “five” or “the fifth pick.” Did he let more than the Brad Jones news slip in this one interview?
** Spencer Checketts, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: Dennis, do you need me to text you my cell phone number before we get off?
** The segment ends with Checketts saying he received a call from a high-placed source that verified the Jazz and Cavaliers have had conversations–initiated by Utah–on a trade that would send Derrick Favors and the fifth pick to Cleveland for the first pick, with the target being Andrew Wiggins.