Bits from Kevin O’Connor Interview, 7/1
Did you believe before the draft started that you could get Trey Burke?
No. We didn’t. …
We tried to do it at 6, 7, and 8. Aaaaaaaand nobody was really interested. And then when we got to 9, they said yes.
Before anyone gets too excited…
You’ve got to tone down expectations because we’re dealing with a couple of rookies coming in, and you know how that goes.
What does Trey Burke need to do to hit the ground running?
Well, his shoulders are gonna be sore from all the pick and rolls he runs into. And that’s gonna be the biggest thing.
I, you know, I teased him. I said, “You know, we’re gonna have a swing, and you’re gonna have, you, we’re gonna play San Antonio and you’re gonna have Tony Parker. You know, and then we’re gonna play Oklahoma City and you’re gonna have Russell Westbrook and then we’re gonna go out to L.A. and have Chris Paul and we’re gonna go up to San Francisco and play Stephen Curry.”
I said, “Tie your hat on.”
Tyrone Corbin does not run the pick and roll. Are you saying the team will be going back to that with Trey Burke as its point guard?
You know, I, that sounds like coachism to me, and I would ask you to ask coach. But he does run the pick and roll pretty well, so I know Ty will do what, he’ll have the opportunity to do what he does best. And Ty will find that out.
Do you plan to get Rudy Gobert over this year?
That’s our plan right now, and we’re working. Bob Hyde, our CFO, is working on it, on the logistics of it, and there’s a lot of paperwork to go through.
One, to relieve him of his responsibility from the team that he played on, first of all, and two, to get what they call “FIBA clearance,” which is, you know, lawyer-ese,* and then three, to be able to make sure that he gets, you know, he gets his own, our own contract signed.
So we’re working on it, to the point where we’re gonna try and figure out if we may even get him for a couple of games in the summer league.
* Or, you know, plain English.
What are reasonable expectations for Gobert?
That’s a good question. I really, you know, until we see him in summer league, if we get him there, we’ll kind of fly by night on that. But the one thing about him that we really, really respect is the fact, how hard he works. He’s a serious worker and he’s a kid that really wants to get better.
Were your surprised you were able to buy your way back into the first round after trading away two picks?
Well, yes. And you know, Dennis [Lindsey] had, we followed Dennis’ lead and talked to every team in the NBA about doing it, and Denver had showed some interest…
Give Dennis credit for being able to go through the season and not being anxious in spending the money. And if we did, you’re only allowed to spend x number of dollars in a regular, during the wh–or calendar year, to purchase a player, to put it in the trade, to do whatever.
We hadn’t spent a penny, and we had that opportunity to use it then.
How did Raul Neto come across your radar, and when will he come over?
We’re not sure [when he’s going to come over]. We’re actually gonna try and get him to see if there’s anything he can do, as far as summer league goes, and get him over there. That’s the first thing. The, you know, and that’s really a big if.
The second thing is, we just don’t have a good feel for, you know, when and where that will happen, if it does happen.
And the other point that we make, is that he had really had a good year this year in the ACB [League]. His team hadn’t been great, but he had a good year, and for a 20-year-old at the time to be starting as a point guard against guys that played in the NBA, was pretty impressive.
And then Dennis had seen him play in what they call, in Treviso, where, in Eurocamp. He felt he was the best point guard there.
How the effect of drafting Trey Burke on the Jazz’s free agency plans is like streams at two adjacent urinals
You know what, I think they run parallel, but I don’t think they cross. So we’ll take a look at every opportunity. But you don’t give a guy a job, yet.
What are your areas of need?
Well, you know, we, one of the things that we wanted to do was try and get some length at the rim, which hopefully Rudy will address, at some point in his career. You know, he’s a work in progress.
We’ve always liked the shooting that we’ve had, you know, last year, and we hope that Marvin [Williams] gives us that under contract and then we’ll see where else we go. And you know, I think we need one more big guy.
How involved was COACH Corbin on Draft Night?
A lot. You know, he was here for every single workout. He was in the film room studying the players. As he’s done in the past and, but I, as an assistant.
And you know, we went to him and said, “Hey, you know, look at, we’ll, we’re gonna make this deal, what do you think?” And he was thrilled. (1280)