Bits from Walt Perrin Interview, 5/9
Walt Perrin is the Jazz’s VP of Player Personnel.
What’s the usefulness of bringing in this quantity of players?
Because of the quantity, and the way Dennis [Lindsey] operates, I have no idea what he may do in terms of trades, and all, and trade deadline, or trade bait, excuse me. So we’ve gotta be prepared with a lot of players.
It also helps us for the future, in terms of if we may wanna bring a player in on a 10-day contract, or if we may want to trade for a player, it gives us an idea of who he is. We already know him; we know what he can do on the court.
So, also, you know, as the NBA is going, I would think every team’s gonna have a D-League team sometime in the near future. It gives us an opportunity, again, to look at players that we may want to [stash] away on the D-League team, if we ever get one.
What are the Jazz’s needs?
Well, I think we need to definitely become a better outside shooting team, or 3-point shooting team. We have to look at that aspect of the draft.
We did finish 30th in defense, so we definitely have to improve that, and I think we can not only in the draft, but I think our players will become better defensively in the future.
So. We need probably a little bit more toughness on our team. And again, we may not be able to get some of this with our draft picks, but in terms of what we need to do as a team, we do need to get probably a little bit tougher, as a team.
Any updates on foreign players previously drafted by the Jazz?
We got Anton Tomic*, a 7-footer who’s playing with Barcelona. And we have Real, Raul Neta**, who we drafted last year, who’s a point guard that plays in San Sebástian, Spain. They both had fairly good years this year. Raul is a little bit younger than Anton*.
So, we have seen them play. We’ve been over there a couple times. I have seen them play each this year. Our international scout has seen them play a couple times. Dennis has even seen them play. So, we keep an eye on ’em. We keep a relationship with them, in case we wanna bring ’em over or in case they’re ready to come over and play for us.
Is there a timetable on that? Are they close?
Well, with Tomic, he’s a, he’s with a pretty good team in Barcelona, so his buyout is still somewhat high, for him, because he was a second round draft pick, even though we can give him whatever we want now.
With Neto, he was, his buyout is not as high, for the player. So we’ll continue to evaluate whether or not we wanna bring them over this year or maybe wait another year.
* People calling Ante Tomic “Anton”: Walt Perrin.
** People calling Raul Neto “Real, Raul Neta”: Walt Perrin.
Are there any international players on your radar?
There is a player, probably’s gonna be a lottery pick named Dario Šarić from Zagreb. We’re trying to see if he’s gon come over for workouts. His team [Cibona] is pretty good, so we’re not sure if he’s gonna get over.
There’s a big kid out of France named Clint Capela***, who’s probably gonna be somewhere in the mid-to-late first round. Six-ten, great athlete. Seen him play a few times. Again, we’re not sure if he’s gonna get over in time. We think he will. There’s a few Europeans that could go in the first round this year.
*** Capela is from Switzerland and plays in France.
On drafting without a head coach in place
Regardless who the ca–coach is, you always wanna get the best available player for your franchise, not only the next year, but in previous years, going into the future. So, the philosophy is, at this time, with, you know, what our franchise thinks the best players are gonna be and what we many need as a franchise.
Good coaches will be able to adjust to utilizing any players they have. They will utilize their, or accent their strengths, and try to hide their weaknesses. So, we’re not overly concerned who the coach is. We just wanna make sure we get a good player. We know the coach is gonna be able to handle whoever he has on his team.
How many of the players in the draft can make an impact right away?
Well, I’m not sure if there is anybody on the board that can make a major difference for us next year because of the youth that we already have on our team. Whoever we draft will have somebody he’s gotta fight for time, and especially starting, and then getting time on the court.
I think they will help us tremendously in that it will add to our depth for us…Whether he starts or whether he comes off the bench, it will add to a very good player coming off the bench who will help us with our depth and with our scoring.
Again, I think there’s some very good players in this draft. I think there’s a possible, as we call ’em, core- or franchise-type players. But they’re not gonna be given a spot on our team, ’cause we got some good young kids in front of them right now, or maybe not in front of them, but who’s gonna have to compete to get the time and get the starting position. (1280)