Bits from Randy Rigby (7/10) and Dennis Lindsey (7/12) Interviews
On bringing back the Rocky Mountain Revue
As I watch what’s going on here in Orlando, I keep saying, “You know what? People really liked our summer league.”
And so, I’m gonna make another run at this, in the next month or so, see if we can get a handful of teams to really come and enjoy our great state and our great fan base, and see if we can get summer league back in Salt Lake.
On the Jazz’s direction
I will say, the principle still holds for us…in really, our strategy of being, going young, and developing this team. As you look at the future for us, we really said, and looked at what is, was in front of us, in the free agency market.
We really said, “We’re not satisfied,” and I’m happy that we had the support from the Miller family. And Greg [Miller] has really pushed us to say, he’s not satisfied of just being lukewarm.
That we want to really take the steps that we need to take, to really develop an NBA championship-caliber team, for a long-term period of time, that could compete for some time.
And so, to do that, you’ve got to be a little more bold. You’ve got to make the moves, and you know what, Kevin [O’Connor] foresaw this really when we made some of the moves back with Deron Williams. We said, “We’ve got to take those moves,” and Kevin, Dennis [Lindsey] has taken the lead in helping direct us in going that direction.
We’ve had the support from the Millers, and I think as we, as I listen to our fan base, they’re very much supportive of what we’re doing as well. So that we can really get the necessarily** assets, to really give us the opportunity to compete for an NBA championship.
** Not a typo.
Theoretically, would it make sense for the Jazz to trade for not-very-effective, high-priced veterans?
It would. And what makes sense is to make sure that as we do it, that, again, we’re keeping short contracts in place, so that we keep flexibility in place, for us. And then we’re also, that we can hopefully acquire very valuable assets for us for the long, for future uses.
On Trey Burke
There’s gonna be a learning curve. Again, the word is patience, that we need to all give this young man–look back at John Stockton’s career. He didn’t immediately start for the Utah Jazz.
He had a great mentor also, from Rickey Green, and he learned some things. And it took him some time, but with our system, with the right kind of system, which we have, within the right kind of coaching staff and people around that we have, players like that can really develop.
** People still calling Alec Burks “Alex”: Randy Rigby.
On what was learned from summer league
Our auto and 1-4 system is unique, and it takes awhile to learn, and you know, it’s an execution of offense, and so, I’m glad that all of our guys became more familiar in what we do. I think our coaches probably have an understanding of, a better understanding, I should say, of what we got, and what we need to work on.
Obviously, we gotta get Rudy [Gobert] stronger, you know, so he can hold his ground and block even more shots.
I think we have to get Trey’s pick and roll defense up to speed. I think we have to get him, technically, finishing better off of one foot. He’s a two-foot gatherer, and he loses some advantages when he does that. That’ll be a couple areas that we’ll address with him.
Alec Burks, he and Johnnie Bryant have spent a lot of time on the shot. I think if you guys watched much of the summer league, technically his shot looks better and you know, I really appreciate how much time Alec has spent with Johnnie to tighten up his stroke a little bit.
I think you know, the, you know, basically an “Incomplete” grade on Raul [Neto]. He didn’t, he wasn’t able to go through any of the practices, so that first game that he was playing off of was, mainly, adrenaline and excitement that he got his letter of clearance. But you know, he has some pure point abilities, but I think we’re gonna have to get him stronger, specifically.
What will Raul Neto’s clearance/buyout process be?
Yeah, so he’s under contract and there’s buyouts and there’s, you know, there would have to be a negotiation with us. We’re gonna let the dust settle a little bit, and see what’s best, you know, for Raul; what’s best for the organization.
But certainly, you know, whether we leave him in Europe to develop, you know, on someone else’s dime, I think there’s some positives in that. If we bring him over now, you know, certainly, a lot of times the tricky thing is, is timing with Europeans.* …
So you know, as much as anything with Raul, body maturation and timing on when the right time to bring him over, would be two of the more predominant issues that we gotta talk about going forward.
* Or non-European players playing in Europe.
Ante Tomic update
We still have Ante’s rights. We just, there’s a procedure that if he changes teams, we have to re-tender and so, we still have his rights. And he’s a very good asset. He was ACB MVP this year. That’s the number one league in Spain.
He was first team All-Euroleague. He was in Real Madrid the season before, and the role was much different. He was more, used more in plays and as a post-up guy in Madrid.
This year in Barcelona, they put him in a screen and roll, kind of a Tiago Splitter role coming off Tony Parker rolling into space, if someone picks him up, moves the ball to the opposite corner, that type of role. And so, he really flourished.
And so, we’ve, you know, unfortunately with what we’ve done, we’ve added quite a bit of size, you know, or I should say fortunately. And so, that may be a deal where we have to be a little bit more patient or you know, potentially, you know, use his rights to pick up assets elsewhere.
What was the Jazz’s motivation for making the Andris Biedrins – Richard Jefferson – Brandon Rush trade?
Well, we picked up players first, you know. We hope to help, you know, recreate Andris and his career. We think he can be a good defender, rebounder, finisher, shot blocker. And you know, hopefully a new change of scenery will allow him to flourish.
Richard Jefferson, we look forward to partnering with him, and providing veteran leadership that, as you guys know, with the age of our team, we really need. Richard gives us size at the wing, and ability to play both the “three” and the shooting “four.”
With the league playing smaller, you know, Ty[rone Corbin] and Kevin, and I and the staff have talked a lot about using spacing to, as part of our lineups going forward. And Richard played a lot of three and four in San Antonio for us. And he’s someone that changed his shot late career, so he’s a much better shooter, you know, in the last four years than he was early in his career.
And then, young guy that we’re very excited about in Brandon Rush, is coming off an ACL injury. He’s [eight to nine] months into the rehab now, and the rehab’s going very well. He’s a big wing who can really defend and shoot.
We hope that he can provide a “3&D [3-point shooting and defense]” component. You know, those Shane Battiers of the world, the Bruce Bowens, that are good shooters, that are lock-down defenders. And with his size, at 6-6, 215 lbs., we think that as long as he’s able to get healthy, he can provide a component, you know, that will add to our group this year.
And along the way, as it’s been written about, we picked up quite a few assets, you know, two unprotected first[-round pick]s, three second[-round pick]s, a very significant amount of cash that we will reinvest in the club.
Why wasn’t DeMarre Carroll re-signed? Was it because of money?
Well, not, it came dow–a little bit, it came down to timing. It came down to this trade was not something–when we went to free agent market, we went to several of our own free agents, with a real strong push to have them back, under the right terms. And so, there, you know, I think, you know, the agents were probing us; we were probing them.* They were, you know, sizing up the market; we were doing the same.
And then as we started visiting with Golden State on this deal, we just felt like it was a real unique opportunity, to add size, to add shooting, to add veteran experience, to keep our threshold that we wanted to hold to, and the 2014 off-season strong relative to flexibility.
And then also, no matter who we would’ve signed in free agency, it would’ve been very difficult to sign an allotment of players, and pick up multiple first-round picks, and seconds.
And so, when we started doing a little accounting, we just felt like even though there were great alternatives in Mo Williams and Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson and DeMarre Carroll and guys that had performed very well, we just thought that as we started laying out all the alternatives, the market, the fact that we were gonna have to give multiple-year deals, that we couldn’t warrant to the Miller family that we would move from a 43-win team to a 55-win contenderish team, and our salary outlay become concrete, it just became very difficult to decide to, you know, stay with the status quo.
On skipping steps
We skipped a couple steps post-Deron Williams, but we’re right dead-set in a rebuild. And so the last two years, having a winning record, we’re proud of that. And there was nothing wrong with being in the middle because we had great flexibility, and multiple picks coming due.
The problem with it going forward is, again, we became, would’ve become more concrete, there potentially could’ve been future offer sheets placed on some of our young players, and then you get leveraged.
So there’s definitely some delayed gratification into some of the moves that we made, whether it’s drafting Trey as a 20-year old; or drafting Raul that, you know, may be stashed; to, you know, deciding that we wanted to be in very aggressive asset-accumulation mode during this off-season.
* So have the Jazz had a grand plan all along, or are they changing plans now but want fans to think they had a grand plan all along?
We have Randy Rigby saying above that KOC foresaw at the time of the Deron Williams trade what the Jazz are or are having to do now. You also have KOC saying that Bob Hyde predicted how CBA negotiations would go. If that’s the case, why has KOC been refusing to use the word “rebuild” and why did he maintain for the past two seasons that the Jazz’s “plan” was being a playoff team?
I think there would’ve been less frustration among the fan base if KOC/management had just been honest with fans from the beginning and laid out the rebuilding plan instead of keeping fans in the dark and insisting in every interview that the Jazz were in “playoff push” mode.
Then again, maybe management’s plan really was “playoff push” and they just finally realized that their plan of fielding a playoff-competitive team to sell tickets was not working, as was evidenced by the swaths of green (empty) seats in the arena last year, and that convinced them they needed to change directions.
How worried are you about the record next year?
You’re always worried. You’re always, you know, you always hope for the best, but I would say this.
We’re gonna define ourselves about building a defensive foundation. That’s something that Kevin and I’ve challenged, you know, our staff, from top to bottom personnel, to get plus defenders; coaches to build good habits where the players are communicating and moving and helping and recovering and getting multiple efforts. …
I was very pleased with what Ty and the staff had come up with. So again, we’re gonna talk about defensive habits. We’re gonna talk about continuing to develop the young guys, and starting to develop the guys that we’ve added to the mix.
And development could be, you know, helping Andris with his free throws and regaining confidence. It could be getting, you know, Richard Jefferson in great shape so he can continue his career, to be, getting Rudy Gorbert* stronger so he can keep guys off of his body and be a presence at the rim.
It will be in development of Trey Burke, you know, with a couple runners and floaters and tricks that you guys have seen with Jeff Hornacek and John Stockton, Deron Williams of years past. So you know, so the defense, the development, and then I think we need to be very disciplined, and discipline is in a lot of areas.
It’s me and Kevin on who we bring in to mentor the young guys. The young guys that we continue to bring in, are they rock-solid individuals? A defensive discipline…especially on the road. So you know, we’ll talk about those things, and I think if we, if we’re consistent in our message and in our efforts to everybody, I think, you know, the wins and losses start to take care of themselves.
* Not a typo.
What will Tyrone Corbin be judged on next year?
Just what I spoke about. You know, how well we defend as a group. You know, is it one, you know, organism that’s working together?
Watching a good defense is almost like watching a heart pump, where it contracts on penetration and then it expands as the ball goes out,* and then it contracts, until watching a group function, a five-man group, that is highly alert, that is giving great effort, that is communicating, that is rotating, I’m really excited about the potential that we’ve shown this summer.
And the potential that Derrick [Favors], specifically, has to lead us in that area. So we’ll, you know, we’ll judge on what we’re doing there, and are we making significant progress? …
You know, I think, you know, there is a tangible frustration in the community that they wanted the young guys to play more, and I get it. And Ty gets it. But Ty also had to keep a locker room, and I thought he did a very good job of managing veterans and still developing young guys.
I’ll use this number again. Enes Kanter played the exact same minutes that Tim Duncan did his senior year at Wake Forest, or right around there. And you know, a lot of times the court is just illumination or development and all four of our young guys got better. And Ty and his staff deserves credit.
So we’ll talk about that, and we’ll talk about, you know, how, you know, I need to be disciplined. Kevin needs to be disciplined.* You know, Ty needs to make the young players disciplined on how they approach the game and the court every night. And I think if, you know, if we’re doing that, and judge him on the process, I think that’s much fairer, so. (1280)