Which is more likely for the Jazz, signing a player or being on the receiving end of a salary dump trade?
I think, I’m not sure, because, look, there was a call today that I didn’t expect. And so, when could we line up things? When could we conceivably, if you will, put someone on our roster that’s a positional and/or skillset and/or fit into the culture, that, u–just a unique chemistry that our guys are gaining? …
Could there be a time where I put on the GM hat and recommend to Quin and ownership that they, this asset-accumulation deal, it’d be worth the roster spot; it’s worth the possible interruption to chemistry at a short level? It’s hard to say.
And then, again, there’s, there are free agents available that we wanna continue to look at at various price points, and, but again, to state the obvious somewhat, we really ne–are excited about this group. And even more so than the excitement, we’re eager to learn more going into next year.
“We tactically decided to stay out of the free agent wing market in a big way”
I had a conversation with Rodney Hood yesterday, and we tactically decided to stay out of the free agent wing market in a big way, if you will, for a couple of reasons:
Gordon [Hayward]’s improved level as a primary player. Alec Burn–Burks’ return back to health. He’s now free for contact, so he’ll take part in portions of our summer league training camp if he’s in town.
Rodney Hood’s ability just to make plays off the dribble, getting to a short pullup, finding guys. You know, he’s a 6-8, 6-9 2-guard in skillset, so.
Elijah Millsap’s unique defensive ability to blow up screens. And as Coach [Jerry] Sloan said — we were, we’ve talked a lot about Elijah relative to some other defensive wings, and Coach Sloan appropriately said this. It was r–just really well stated. He said, “Look, there’s guys that are defenders, and then there’s guys that scare people when they’re defending.” And that list is much smaller.
So Elijah’s an exceptional defender, but there’s also a force and a power and an energy and a mindset where you put him out there and say, “Sic him,” he does — we were, you know, per 100 possessions, we, when Elijah’s out there, we were plus-5…The returns were good. The d–returns were surprising, and we need to know more going forward.
What about the free agent point guard market?
Look, we’re looking all the way through, and want to have those conversations. Really, the higher tier of point guards have either gone off the board — they were gonna stay with their teams or they’re restricted free agents.
So, there’s always the issue of making a good offer. But if it’s a good offer, teams are smart. They’ll match. So, it wasn’t as predominant a thought just because of what was available there.
Was the Jazz’s defensive improvement last year simply due to Enes Kanter’s departure?
We were turn[ing] a corner before that, we — before we became unique defensively. We became average and above average. So, I wouldn’t wanna lay that all on Enes. Look, it’s a, it was a young group and early on, we didn’t have practice time that we had in training camp.
So you saw in the preseason, we were defending very well, and things fell apart temporarily just ’cause we couldn’t reinforce the habits, and our players hadn’t been here seven, eight, nine years like the Spurs were. “If they do this, we, here’s our response.” Our guys just hadn’t been in the league long enough, and more importantly, hadn’t been together.
And so, as we were — we just decided we’re gonna practice more. If we’re gonna be challenged from a win-loss record standpoint, we were really going to reinforce we’re a work program. And so, that started turning end of December into January.
And then Elijah joined the program, and Dante [Exum] started finding his defensive footing. Trey [Burke] made a big improvement, relative to pick and rolls and body position. We were still — Rodney was going in and out of the lineup, but we were starting to get him back.
And then, of course Rudy [Gobert]’s unique at the five, and he has that mindset where he’s going to really intimidate and clean things up and communicate. And you know, that’s just part of his DNA.
And then as we mentioned before, maybe none of it works unless Derrick Favors at 6-10 and 260 pounds with great length, isn’t really smart with the game plan [and] very instinctive. Good on mobile forwards out on the floor; great with his interior defense, especially as now a second shot blocker. And so, that tandem, to, it’s quite unique, and quite young, and we’re very proud of them. They’ve done everything that we’ve asked them to do.
On Dante Exum’s body (UDQM)
All I can tell you is, come out June* 6 and take a look at his body. I was giving him the business yesterday. I told him he was wearing an extra large toddler’s shirt, to stretch it over his body. So we think he found some muscles. (1280)
* July, probably.
On the Utah Jazz Summer League
I hated seeing, the league, really, a–for a time, as they went down to Las Vegas, they slowly kind of crept, or kept stealing teams from us, and it was frustrating. And Kevin O’Connor and myself worked very hard at trying to get the league to recognize what they had done wrong, and to work with us. …
[The NBA] came around, gave us support. Dennis [Lindsey], myself, worked hard with also teaming and kind of coordinating with [Vegas Summer League founder] Warren LeGarie and his group out of Las Vegas, and said, “Hey, we don’t want to take away from yours, but we wanted i–have a league as well.” And he was very supportive and we’ve been supportive of their league.* And we’ve been able to be, w–do a very strategic way of making this happen, and we’re really excited to have it back.
* The Utah Jazz, supporter of the Vegas Summer League since 2014.
On summer league ticket sales
We’ve already sold 4,000 seats for each night, and, plus, for the, for all three games. And we’ve also sold individual game night tickets. So, we’re right now sitting at well over 5,000 seats sold. Of course, we want to try to keep this in the lower bowl, but if we have over, remarkable response, we’ll also start opening up the upper bowl. But we want to fill the whole lower bowl. …
Three-day passes are sold out. But still, go online ’cause we’re selling, literally, specific game tickets and specific seats. So, when you buy your seat, it’s not, you just come in and hope to get a good seat. You can go in and pick out the seat where you want to sit.
How comfortable are the Jazz with standing pat in free agency?
I’ve had very good co–dialogue with Dennis, Quin [Snyder], Justin[ Zanik]. We feel very strong about the plan that we’ve put in place, of our deve–of our desire to really build through the draft, of really, then, taking our selections as well as players that we have on our roster and continuing the development process, and, that we have, and we also have, you know, of course, rights to some other, of our foreign players that we can look at.
And we feel like those tools and the plan that we’ve put in place is a very solid plan that we saw results that we, at the end of the season, of when it was meaning to us, and we want to continue on that path and we feel very comfortable that it’s the right path for us at this time. And of course, we’ll be judged from it, but we’re willing to stand up and believe in it, and move forward.
have been requests has been one request for translations. Given that there are PR talking points making the rounds in the front office (see: “Alec Burks is our best free agent”), here’s a translation for this bit in Dennis Lindsey’s words from the night of the draft:
I think it’s clear the template here is best. You build your base through the draft. I think that’s where it starts…And then augment through free agency, and then parley up in trade…If it’s no [free agents] as we sit today and our team is the same that we go into training camp with, we’re comfortable with that alternative as well. And that’s exciting to us…We’ll be judged if [internal development] is not [enough to get to the playoffs].
If you were to sign a free agent, what type of player and fit would it be?
One of the free agents that we think that we’ve already added to our team, which is going to be Alec Burks.* Alec has done a remarkable job during this time, when he’s had to strengthen, because of his injury, of his rehabbing. He’s worked very hard, though, in preparing himself and we’re excited about what he’s gonna bring, and the dimension he’s gonna bring.
We had Rodney Hood**, that had, you know, spurts during the off-season. He’s had, now, a full off-season to get healthy and strong, understand the NBA game. And we saw at the last of the season, his game was starting to blossom, and we think that that’s, that side can continue to also grow and develop. We’re looking for bigger things from him.
And of course, we had a rookie season from, also, Dante Exum***. And that’s an area I think we need to continue to improve on.
* Not a free agent
** Not a free agent
*** Not a free agent
Randy Rigby’s genie wish for…
Gordon Hayward: Continued development on, now, his offensive end, of finishing stronger in the fourth quarters.
Derrick Favors: Continued toughness and development of his offensive game, and continued hard work out on the floor, in preparation of being, continuing to step closer towards a Karl Malone-style of play out on the court.
Alec Burks: Alec Burks? Defensive toughness.
Dante Exum: I wish him to be two years older, quicker.
Trey Burke: Oh, did we do Tre–I was doing Al–did I, I thought we were on Al–you said Al–oh, sorry. Let me change that. I thought you said Trey Burke. We got a lot of Treys and Alecs and Burk(e)s and everything. Let me rephrase that. Trey Burke’s wish, for me, was t–defensive toughness. Was improved defensive toughness.
Alec Burks: Continued improvement on his off–his outside shooting at the 3-point line.
Dante Exum: I said I want him to be two years older, quicker. I really think his body needs to continue to grow. He needs that time for his body to continue to grow and develop.
Rodney Hood: Continued strengthening of his lower body.
Rudy Gobert: Keep on the path that he’s going…Don’t stop.
On Tibor Pleiss
Tibor was in town. Watched him working out last couple of days, and number one, he moves very well with the ball. I was very impressed with — character-wise, our type of player. Very positive personality. Open, teachable, hungry and hard-working. Great attitude, and I was really excited about that. I was excited to see his conversations that were having with our coaching staff and with the workouts that he did. I’m very optimistic and hopeful that we can possibly see Tibor involved with the organization.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** Randy Rigby on Gordon Monson’s absence: I figure with the three of us, we can easily handle Gordon’s spot.
** Spencer Checketts on Joe Ingles: He’s got a little dog in him, and I like that…He’s not afraid to open his mouth.
Rigby: And at the same time, he can also loosen up his teammates a little bit also. You know, take that tension off as well. (1280, KALL)
When his NBA career is over and if for some reason he can’t get a job with his philosophy, political science, law and business degrees, Quin Snyder can always join the circus.
Thanks to @andyblarsen for the audio.
On his evaluation of last season
I’ll go back after summer league and really dig in and watch, you know, not all of our games but a good chunk of them. And you know, I’ve got, you know, I do the old yellow pad thing. Left over from law school.
I’ve got a lotta notes from the course of the year that I used to coach the team, and some of them are literally a couple pages of notes for every game that I’ll review with ideas.
And over the course of the season, you keep a lotta stuff on video. And we’ll go back through all that and basically create a video playbook that we’ll get a chance to evaluate and look at.
You know, there’s a lotta preparation work that could be done during the summer, but I, I’m, I’ve been focused on the draft and then I’m gonna go through summer league and take a deep breath and clear my head before I dive into that.
On the Jazz’s new hires
This past year, I really wanted to just take inventory of what everybody’s strengths were. You know, we, the idea of, you know, development coaches versus coaches’ bench behind them, that to me, those were, I wanted a flat organization. Those things just, I don’t like those categories. …
I’d like to focus more on what guys’ strengths are, and me, as the manager, try to play to those strengths. …
In Zach [Guthrie]’s case, Zach’s had, you know, he had experience with me way back in Austin when he was going to school at Texas and then worked in San Antonio for [Mike] Bud[enholzer] for two years, and then built the video room in Orlando.
So we, we’re in the process of overhauling what we’ve done with video. A lot of that’s happened already. It just hasn’t, we haven’t, it hasn’t been codified. You know, we’re creating those systems.
And I think in Zach’s case, he’s got a very good basketball mind. So, some of what he’s gonna be doing is, you know, literally basketball strategy — how to attack defenses and various things like that; research for me, in addition to his video responsibilities. Kinda grafting in, you know, different ways we can use technology too.
So, those things, in addition to — you know, I want all my guys to be on the court and have a chance to touch players, and work with them. I think it helps them in all different aspects. So, I have a lotta confidence in Zach’s kind of acumen for the game.
** Quin Snyder on summer workouts, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: You don’t want to sit on these guys too much in the summer. They need their space.
On Quin Snyder
We have a very dynamic coach that I think it’s clear that NBA players believe in and gravitate towards. …
The beauty of [Quin Snyder] and his staff is, is the grass isn’t greener. In some ways, I wish, you know, he would come in my office and demand this player, but he’s been great.
And so, when we have people calling us for Dante Exum, you know, Quin has stopped that. Quin’s like, “I believe in him. I believe in his makeup. I believe in his insights.” …
We have a real asset in Quin that he’s not gonna put a guy in a box and leave him there. You know, they’re gonna have to play within certain roles and concepts that the team and Quin define, but he’s also growing their games. And so, you can see that in several ways.
On the coaches working with players during the summer
It’s very dynamic. It’s very teaching-oriented. And here, when you wanna emphasize player development, you gotta create an environment. And if it’s hard work to the point where it’s obnoxious, the players will just go away. So the coaches have to have a little feel. There has to be a little give and take…
And as long as the players feel like they’re being well taken care of here and well taught, it’s not [necessary] for them to go out and hire a personal coach. They have the resources here. So, that’s the environment we’ve tried to create.
We wanted to have several workouts. We wanted to have a mini-camp, because we want our gym to feel alive when our players are here as well.
On on-court proprioceptory* consequences
There are movements and patterns that if you study — if you have the video, if you have the data, if you have the coaching expertise to then apply what you see and replicate — you can create a unique deal.
And one of the things that we have — it was really a three-year job interview that Quin had with me in Austin and San Antonio. We saw that every day. It was just a really unique, deeper dive towards footwork and towards balance. And so, it also capitalized on some of the technology that we’ve added to the building. It’s right in the same genre that, our work towards P3.
And so, and what we’re trying to do — one of the reasons why we hired Jeff Watkinson is [the] coordination of all those efforts of medical services from an athletic training standpoint, from a strength and conditioning standpoint — which was Wat’s primary background — and then skill and development.
And so, to help coordinate that and make sure it’s well communicated, and that we’re doing not too little, not too much. The right, and pardon the pun here, the right balance for those things. So, I think over time, maybe not instantly, but over time, it’ll provide us with an advantage relative to the league.
* A word I just made up
How much did advanced metrics play into the draft process?
Yeah, we believe in it. We believe in the data…Those efforts are a big piece of the puzzle.
But, look, there’s scouting opinion. There’s coaching opinion. There’s medical. There’s our athletic testing. There’s the opinion of the workout and the skills that they have. And then there’s the math.
And really, if you’re doing it well, you want to create an environment where all of those departments are working together, and there’s not a domineering personality in the department that can squash opinion.
And that’s the neat thing about what we’re trying to create here, is a real open environment where everybody can feel free to share their opinion.
And you have to work on that, just ’cause the whole analytic front, you know, is relatively new compared to some of the more traditional scouting, and we have to systematically make sure that they have a voice, and I think we do a decent job [of that]. And it was a big part of our process.
** Dennis Lindsey on the coaches working with players during the summer, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: I wish I could open it up and show you guys.
On Trey Lyles and proprioception
One of the things that we’re doing a good job of [technology-wise] is testing for proprioception, which is just a fancy word for balance. And it’s a very important trait, but it’s something that we’re not good at with the naked eye of saying, “He’s got good balance and he doesn’t.” You know, the guys that tip all over, you’ll say he’s got good balance and the guys that can change — but it’s somewhat arbitrary.
We’ve moved past some of that arbitrary tracking to a very fine, acute system. And Trey was literally the best player that we brought in. We brought in over 100 guys in proprioception, so body control — when you watch him play, it made sense when we were doing our testing.
Rudy Gobert, longer and better than ever
[Through joint mobility and upper thoracic mobility work], Rudy’s standing reach, because his posture’s better and his joint mobility’s better from some of his work here and Santa Barbara, he now doesn’t touch 9’7. He touches 9’9. So, when he was in last week, he was telling me that, and I don’t know if he was expecting a raise or not.
Status update on Ante Tomic, Raul Neto, and Tibor Pleiss
So Raul is, finished his season in the ACB. He’s currently preparing for the Brazilian national team. He will be someone that we take a long look at, and have conversations with here real soon. We’ll see where the nature of those conversations lead us.
Ante did re-sign with Barcelona, and we’re happy for him. We’ll see what that means, from — we’re still getting in the details of the contract. It was just recently done [and it’s for] two or three years, so he’d be 30, 31 by the time he can become available to us. So, we’ll continue to track him…
We also have the rights to Tibor Pleiss. We will be having several conversations with Tibor and his agents here quickly. And we’re excited to take a look at him up close. We want to get him to Salt Lake. We want to get him out to P3. And it’s always good when you have another 7-foot-2, long center in your camp.
And so, we’re very excited about Tibor. His ability to move, set screens, roll, quickly get the ball up to the rim and finish is superior. He can really shoot the ball from the perimeter, and he was an–he did it more at his previous club than he did in Barcelona this past season. And he’s an excellent free throw shooter. He’s an 88 percent free throw shooter. So, we think we could have some very interesting conversations with Tibor here in the next few days and weeks.
On the Jazz’s recent personnel moves
Brian Zettler’s been here a long time, and he’s waited his turn and he’s learned under Gary [Briggs]. And so, when you can have those internal promotions, those are the best conversations to have. And that’s really what we’re trying to do with the staff, is — I realize I’m not gonna be here forever, and we need to be in a spot when that times comes, that there’s natural successors here.
And so, we’re trying to have our, from our interns all the way up, have rich experience, and be part of real diligence, real conversations. So, and many of the guys, there won’t be opportunity here, but they can then move on. So, that’s part of our plan and process. It’s the way it’s been in programs I’ve been before, and it’s always good to be able to help someone out.
And then, there are times when you need to go to market and hire guys. And with [new manager of basketball strategy/technology] Zach Guthrie, Quin [Snyder] and I had great corporate knowledge of him because he started with us in Austin and San Antonio, and went to Orlando with Jacque [Vaughn]. And we knew that he was a great kid and a very good worker, and he’s smart and he will help our program out in a big way.
[New assistant coach/integrated player development] Jeff Watkinson is a very uniquely talented basketball man. We somewhat designed a position that is unique relative to the league. We felt like not just us, but you know, the league in general has holes, and Jeff was able to cover up those holes for us with having skillsets in various disciplines. So, Jeff is already, he was already very helpful in the draft process…
We have a few more things coming that I can’t comment right now.
** People calling Trey Lyles’ girlfriend, Olivia, “Olivier”: Randy Rigby
On being drafted by the Jazz
I’m just thankful to be here. Glad to a part of this organization, part of this team now. Coming in with Olivier, I think that’s gonna be great for–great contribution to the team, both of us.
I’m just thankful that the team and the staff had the faith in me and decided to bring me along with the team, and I think that, you know, with hard work put in I can be a major contribution to the team.
What kind of immediate impact do you think you can make on this team?
Going to Kentucky and playing with a lot of stars, you know, it’s, it helped me out a lot. You know, I don’t think any one individual was able to do everything they’re capable of, and the team didn’t need it from us, ’cause we had it in different places.
So you know, coming up here with the Jazz, I’ll be able to do more, of course. And then being a young guy on the team, you know, for me, I’m a competitor so every day in practice, Imma make sure I go out and I show coaches what I’m capable of doing, and you know, hopefully I’ll be able to earn some minutes from the other guys, and you know, be able to contribute from there.
On being half-white On his sneaky athleticism
I think I have, you know, sneaky athleticism…I think it’s a sneaky thing I don’t do all the time, and you know, just ’cause I don’t do it all the time, people don’t, would say that I’m not athletic.
On being drafted by the Jazz
We have a young team. You know, a lotta pieces already, and adding, you know, somebody, you know, Trey and me, it just added to that, you know, talent on the team.
You know, we’re both here to work hard, and I’ll be dedicated to the program, and you know, you guys probably have the best fans in the — you guys have the best fans in the league, and you know, that’s something to look forward to, and just grateful to be here.
Are you looking forward to fitting into a team instead of being asked to do everything?
Yeah, definitely. My three years at [Boston College], I was asked to do a lot. You know, I’m not complaining, but I don’t think I’m gonna get 40 minutes here, you know, right from the start.
But definitely coming into a team with, you know, a lot of veterans, and you know, guys like Trey [Burke] and Dante [Exum] and Bryce Cotton, that’s been through it before me, and you know, I can just learn from them.
But definitely be playing less minutes, so maybe a little less tired, but I would say in terms of just being a bit more efficient in terms of shooting and just being, you know, consistent with sh–my overall game and defensively also.
On shooting 68 percent around the basket in college
Yeah, I did a good job at that at Boston College. You know, I had a pretty good strength coach to help me with my body, in terms of just controlling, you know, my core and stuff like that. That helped me a lot with just finishing around the basket.
You know, I’m not the most athletic guy, you know, and dunking on people, but in terms of, you know, getting to the rack and getting fouled or having a few, you know, nice finishes is definitely something that’s a part of my game.
So you grew up in Quebec, which, the Canadian basketball revolution, Quebec’s been pretty absent of it.
I think there’s talent in Quebec, you know, but just need more exposure. You know, I’m not gonna downplay Quebec like that…
Hopefully I’m the first one and you know, have a few come after that. But you know, it’s definitely starting a bit, you know, with the Canada trend, and a few guys getting picked on–No. 1 overall and a few guys just having, you know, impacts at the next level.
On the Jazz’s draft selections
At the end of the day, these guys, relative to their picks, really stood out. Trey specifically, his ability to make plays and be a versatile player, his intelligence…
And Quin [Snyder] and I talk about this a lot, but when you get 19-year-olds, 22-year-olds that are basketball prodigies, things kind of gravitate towards them. So, the “derecruitment,*” if you will, of young players is very important, and I thought coach [John] Calipari did a great job and a great service for all the Kentucky players to really put the team in front of themselves…
Trey in particular, playing different positions, we think that is going to set a platform for him to be able to be even more versatile at the power forward position as we’ll be playing him.
Olivier, we’ve been impressed with all the way through. You’ll soon see how well-educated he is, how cultured he is, and then what a good basketball player he is. He came in this workout here, and this is a tough place to work out at, not only what we demand, but in altitude. And many times, the altitude gets on players’ back.
And so, his ability to play with pace and to knock out the workout allowed us to take a longer look at what he could do as a point guard who could both score and create for his teammates. And we’re thrilled to have him.
* DL made air quotes.
On the Jazz’s draft selections
It’s nice when things crystallize for you, as Dennis mentioned. You know, we met with Trey in Chicago and had a really good interview, just talking to him, and then Olivier as well here.
You know, we do a lot of things as far as on the court, and one of the biggest things to me was the interview process, and just to get a chance, as a coach, to get an idea how you would interact with a given player.
So, in addition to the things that these guys were able to do on the court, it was also, for me, a really neat thing to feel like that they kinda “get it.*” They g–they understand who we are, what we’re about, and we feel like it’s a great fit.
* QS made air quotes.
How do these two guys fit into your system?
Well, obviously, real good. I think Trey mentioned the workout, and one of the things that stood out to me in the workout for him was when the ball was thrown ahead or he rebounded the ball, his ability to push it on the dribble, and make plays for other people.
I think we’ve alluded a little bit here just the concept of being unselfish, and you know, when I saw him play on tape and then here, that resonated with me. A guy that not only is unselfish, but is capable of passing the ball and making plays for his teammates. So, I think that and his versatility will fit him well with what we’re doing. And he told me that he plays a little defense too, so I was glad to hear that.
And interesting little anecdote about Olivier, after, we were actually in his room for the interview, and I walked him out — and you know, in his college career, he was asked to do a lot, and got a lot of different defenses thrown at him. And I asked him a little bit about pick-and-roll defense and which coverages were mo–the most difficult for him to attack.
So, I use that as an example because I think he’s excellent in pick and roll, and he’s capable of making reads and not only scoring the ball, but making plays for other people. And as you know, we like to play a lot of pick and roll, and we like to see the ball move, and guys making each other better. So, that’s, you know, that’s kinda how I see a big picture with a few specifics.
What specifically does Trey Lyles have to improve to be an effective power forward in the NBA?
You know, one of the things that, when Trey was here for his workout, he shot the ball very well. We had him shoot a bunch of corner threes, and I think as he gets — a lot of guys, when you come to the NBA, you’re just gonna have an opportunity to get more shots and get more reps. And I see his, you know, his shooting, his range extending more where he’s more and more comfortable taking those shots. You know, he did well shooting the ball when he was here.
You know, you guys know what an emphasis we put on defense, and I feel like, you know, the players in our system, defensively, especially “one” through “four,” we like to have versatility defensively. And the fact that he did play the “three” some* at Kentucky, primarily, really, and had to guard guys on the perimeter, got switched out on the guards, I think is a big thing. So that defensive versatility is, I think, something that he can bring that can be valuable to us.
* “He did play the threesome”: UDQM. H/T @edwin_nba.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** David Locke to Trey Lyles: Man, this handshake. I have to tighten up, man. Your handshake is real. The hand–you gotta get in deep, or when their hands are bigger, you just get crunched. (H/T @Mac_Jazz)
** Dennis Lindsey on Trey Lyles: He’s really good. He, while Trey is good vertically, that’s really not his deal. Really, what he is, is he’s r–you know, his body control, his balance is superior. And that allows you to open up your hips and move and change directions.
** Dennis Lindsey on Trey Lyles’ body: He’s just got a good body. You know, you, it’s a little hard to tell in clothes. You know, I, when he walked in the Chicago combine in the interview, I just, y–I couldn’t tell how big he was. It’s like his clothes and his proportions — he’s so well-proportioned it hid it. But when I walked up on him in the draft workout — first thing Quin said is, “Oh. He’s big.”
** Dennis Lindsey on athleticism: While speed does matter, stopping and starting matters. Being able to handle the ball and change directions while keeping your head up really matters. There’s several players that had better sprint times than Chris Paul did, but they can’t stop and start. They don’t have his hips and deceleration. And so, those subtleties matter.
** Quin Snyder on studying film: Everything gets reduced for me by Dennis and the group.
** Quin Snyder: Sometimes if you’re big and you step out, everybody says, “Hey, you’re soft. You need to be inside.”
** Trey Lyles and Olivier Hanlan were part of the same draft workout. Bits from the post-workout interviews here.
** People calling Gordon Hayward “Gayden Horword” after Lyles was drafted: ESPN
** Before and after the draft:
** Walt Perrin on Lyles before the draft
He’s a good basketball player. And the thing at Kentucky this year, he started out playing the “three,” but he’s gonna be a “four” in our league. So he got an opportunity to play more on the perimeter, got an opportunity to experience playing on the perimeter. And as a four in our league, the way our league is going, fours are playing more on the perimeter, so it puts him ahead of the curve of most fours…To show you how wrong I can be, I thought when I watched Trey and I watched Karl Anthony-Towns with Hoop Summit, I thought Trey might become a better player…I’m pretty high on Trey. I think he’s gonna be a good NBA player.
On being drafted by the Jazz
I think that I’ll be able to come into the group and, you know, contribute very soon.
What do you bring?
Just a very versatile guy. You know, can do more than one thing, and you know, somebody that’s gonna be able to contribute right away, that cares about winning more than I care about myself, and you know, that puts the team first in everything that I do.
What do you know about Quin Snyder and the group?
I [got] a text from coach Snyder. You know, he contacted me pretty quick, so that’s cool. …
I know he’s a Duke guy. I’m not gonna hold that against him, though. But I know he’s very enthusiastic, from what I can see, from being there. And like I said earlier, I know the team is young, but I feel like I’ll be able to come in and fit perfectly, and like I said, contribute right away.
What do you think impressed the Jazz about you?
I think the workout and just them sitting down and, you know, watching film of me and stuff like that. And you know, just them feeling confident in me being able to be a playmaker for the team and somebody that can, like I said, contribute right away.
Trending worldwide for a bit
On his relationship with Alec Burks
I was at Adidas Nation, I think it was my s–freshman year of high school going into my sophomore year. And Alec, he was one of my coaches on the team that I had, and you know, we hung out and talked a little bit, so that was cool. …
I stayed in constant contact with him lately. So, hopefully a couple of those guys will be able to, you know, help me out and take me under their wing when I get there.
How much do you know about the state of Utah?
I know it’s cold sometimes…The altitude there, of course. And you know, I know that Salt Lake City’s a nice little town, and you know, has a lot of support from the fans.
Where did the “Mamba” nickname come from?
It came from my Twitter handle. My boy James [?], he started calling me “Trey Mamba.” Then, you know, a lot of other guys, a lot of other people really caught on to it, and people have just been calling me [that] for awhile now.
Is there more to this? From Lyles’ USA Basketball profile:
Who was your mentor growing up?
My father. You know, me and him are best friends. You know, he gave me everything I have. All my talents, everything…Without him, I wouldn’t be here.
What do you like to do off the court?
I just like to sit around like a regular person and watch movies. I like shoes a lot, so I collect shoes. Do puzzles, play cards, do all that kind of stuff. But you know, just like a regular guy.
On Rudy Gobert
On Trey Lyles’ body
He’s a lot bigger than you realize. He’s 6-10 and a half, 240 pounds-plus. We’ll say 243, with a frame that can get bigger. He could, if it’s the right weight, he can move that very well. Seven-one wingspan. He also has very large hands.
On Trey Lyles’ game
We had several intriguing options, and we feel very fortunate and grateful to be able to bring a player like Trey Lyles to the program. …
As you guys will soon see, his playmaking with the ball, his handle, how tight it is, his ability to keep his head up and play unselfish basketball is superior. … Trey in particular made some sacrifices [at Kentucky] not playing as many minutes at the four, which is his natural position.
But playing the three, he learned to handle the ball. He learned to execute. There’s a big part of our game going forward is bigs that can guard smalls. By definition, he guarded a lot of small forwards, and for a big guy to pull that off on a 38-1 team was very unique.
So, there’s some really unique characteristics. And then as much as we like him physically from a talent and a skill standpoint, his makeup is Jazz DNA through and through. It’s just, you know, he’s not outside of our boundaries in any form or fashion, so we think he’ll fit well here. …
We also feel as though, that he could, you know, in the right situation, right set of circumstances, he could come in and learn our system cold. One of the most impressive things about his, the research we did on him as a player was, is that he knows basketball systems, and, very well. So, we expect a very quick transition, even though our system can be somewhat difficult at times.
What position will Lyles play?
[He]’s gonna be as more of a mobile four. He’s proven on the, arguably the best team in the NCAA that he can play three. It’s not the way the league is necessarily going, but so there’s quite a bit of hidden value there.
We can see him defensive rebound, advance the ball up, and that’s good action because what happens when your pow–or when your bigs can rebound and advance the ball up, it’s a little bit like Draymond Green plays in Golden State…It’s hard in a defensive situation not to get cross-matched.
And what you’ll find out is, is Trey’s vision’s superior. His handle’s superior. His decision-making is very safe…
[Our analytic people found that] when he played minutes at the four, he was an above average rebounder as a defensive rebounder, and he was top 20 in the nation in his offensive rebounding rate when he played the four…
[On defense], what we saw was first guy back. Communicating on defense. Cross-matching. We saw someone that was of high character on just how he played the game.
On Olivier Hanlan
So, Olivier’s an impressive guy…Olivier is a nice-sized point guard who can score. He led the ACC in scoring. Became a much better playmaker. He came in here and really impressed us. His fitness level was superior. He’s already a professional in his approach, in how he handled himself, how he carried himself.
And so, we plan on taking a long look at Olivier this summer, and we’ll see what that means relative to our roster going forward.
Also working out, but with no interviews posted: Janis Berzins (Latvia) and Rashad Madden (Arkansas)
Also scheduled to work out, but couldn’t due to canceled flight: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona)
** Wisconsin – F – 6’9 – 219 – Junior – 21 years old
** Eighth workout; has one more with Sacramento
** Comment on the altitude
I had to get a little acclimated to, you know, the air a little bit, and you know, started off a little slow, but overall, it went well.
** What are you trying to show in workouts?
That I can be a consistent outside shooter is something I’ve, I see myself as being able to do, and I didn’t do it as well as I wanted to in the past year, so, you know, so I’ve been showing that. And I feel very comfortable shooting the ball right now. So, I’m excited about that. And then, I also want to show, you know, just my whole, complete, you know, offensive game. You know, passing the ball and putting it on the floor. But defensively as well, being able to, you know, extend and get on guys and put some pressure on them. So, you know, all those question marks that are there for me I’m trying to prove, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it.
** How does your game resemble that of Gordon Hayward?
We’ve kind of had similar question marks coming out. You know, played a few seasons of college. You know, people were wondering about, you know, some consistency and you know, strength and that type of thing. And you know, he came in and he’s worked, and he’s made himself into an all-pro player. Fun guy to watch. He’s athletic. You know, he can score inside-out. You know, he can see the floor, and he can defend pretty well too. So, you know, that’s not a bad guy to try to model some stuff after, and I can see myself, you know, maybe getting to that level, but I got a lot of work to do before I do that.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz?
Well, I’ve watched my share of basketball in my life, so you know, the Jazz were always on when I was growing up in, you know, late 2000s, or, like, you know, 2005, 2010. You know, they were always playing the Knicks, you know, and Kobe [Bryant] and [Car]Melo [Anthony] in the Western Conference, so I got to watch them a little bit. You know, but this year, they got a lot of young talent. You know, they have a lot of good wings. You know, Gordon [Hayward] and Rodney [Hood], good guards. Trey [Burke] and those guys, so. You know, their bigs, or, you know, Rudy [Gobert]. You know, they have a lot of exciting players, got athleticism, so I think I’d be able to fit in well there.
** Cal Poly Pomona – G – 6’5 – 175 – Senior
** What were you trying to show today?
I think I showed them I can get to the rack. You know, my shot has gotten a lot better over the years, and I, you know, fortunate to shoot well today.
** What position would you play in the NBA?
I would say I’m a, probably a “one” and a “two,” mostly. I think I can create for other guys pretty well, and also create shots for myself. And so, you know, I think those are my two strongest points.
** BYU – G – 6’1 – 175 – Senior – 25 years old
** First workout
** Signed with a German agent a month ago; has received interest from a German team
** Do you feel like you contributed to the workout, or were you just an extra body?
You know, I did everything all the other guys did, and then, and I felt, you know, I felt included. And whether I was a fill-in guy or not, you know, it’s just a great opportunity for me…Hopefully, maybe, there’s some probable D-League options with their Idaho Stampede team, or like I said, it could just be a resume-builder for my opportunities over in Europe.
** What do you bring to an NBA team?
For me, I’m just that guy, I feel like at practice that’s gonna get everybody going, you know, as hard as I can. I’m, I just try and be a leader as much as I possibly can and lead by example, just, you know, working as hard as I can. So, probably my work ethic and energy. You know, and then just trying to help people, bring, you know, bring people up.
** On working out for his hometown team
I [got] to meet Jerry Sloan. He came up to me and said hi, and talked to me. You know, I’ve watched him all my life growing up…And it’s just, it’s a cool experience to be able to, you know, I guess rub shoulders with a few of the guys that are on the team with the Jazz.
** On his favorite Jazz memory growing up
My mom and dad sent me to bed one year when [John] Stockton hit that three against the Rockets to win it. And I remember they told me to go to bed, but I was at the top of the railing peeking down, watching the game. And that’s what I remember pretty vi–pretty, you know, well, is when Stockton hit that three against the Rockets. That was pretty fun. But I was a Bulls fan, though, growing up. [Michael] Jordan. So when they were against the Jazz, I mean, that was my team growing up.
** On Sam Dekker’s workout
I think Dekker got better as the workout went on. Personally, I think he might’ve been a little disappointed that Rondae wasn’t here, so I think he’s, started out a little slow but he picked it up as the workout went.
Were you disappointed that Rondae wasn’t here?
Extremely. ‘Cause we thought we had a pretty good workout with Rondae going against Sam and Sam going against Rondae, so, but you know, it happens. Can’t do anything about canceled flights.
What did you want to see from Dekker?
Wanted to see his shooting. I, Jazz 100 was pretty OK. Shot it pretty well. Not great. Showed he can get some improvement. Wanted to see him do some things off the dribble…I thought he had a pretty good workout.
Other Perrin Bits
** Draft pick he’s most proud of taking: Paul Millsap
** Rodney Hood’s agent wouldn’t let him work out with the Jazz last year
** Devin Booker’s agent wouldn’t let him work out with the Jazz
** Frank Kaminsky’s agent wouldn’t let him work out with the Jazz; the Jazz did not talk to Kaminsky in Chicago
** What is the Jazz 100?
It’s a drill that Dennis [Lindsey] kind of brought with him from San Antonio. We’ve kind of adapted it to what Quin’s offense is. It’s 100 threes from different positions on the court…If we think the big man cannot shoot the three, we’ll, we have a different drill for him, but he still takes 100 shots, but it’s more within 12 to 15 feet.
But the wing players, the guards, they take 100 threes from the corner, from the wing, from the top of the circle, and they get into the shot a little different on each event.
So, it’s 100 threes, and it’s a little tough for the guys, ’cause they’re not used to it. They get a little tired. It’s at the end of our workouts…It helps us decide whether or not a guy can be a pretty good shooter.We wanna see if he can keep his same shot for 100 shots, and see if it doesn’t break down. …
It’s high pressure in terms of the number of shots they got to take. We don’t give them a timeline–time limit, excuse me. And we don’t have to make them get into it really quick. So, but it puts a little pressure on them ’cause they know they gotta make — try to shoot 100 shots.