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Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 7/2

July 3, 2014
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On Dante Exum and Rodney Hood
We’re really excited about these two young men. I think, not only did we get players that, I think, for us of where they were on the board, that we moved up significantly, but also we got players that are of Jazz caliber, and they have, come from wonderful families, and I think they’ll, our Jazz fans will be extremely happy with who they are on and off the court…

They speak well. They’re very polite. They’re very appreciative. And, but you can see where it comes from. Their parents are very, very quality individuals, and they’ve taught their children to, also, be respectful and so I think our fans will really enjoy who these players are, and you know what, they have a little passion for playing the game of basketball, and we really hope so.

On the state of negotiations with Gordon Hayward
Well, the conversations go between Dennis [Lindsey] and the agent, and those conversations are being discussed, are open and alive, being very open in our discussions. We’ve said all along that Gordon is a Jazz-caliber individual, that we like Gordon. We like what he does.

We think he has a lot of upside and a lot of potential, and so, for those reasons, we feel very strong that it, most likely if the situation’s, continue, that a match would be something that we’re looking at.

I’m not, that’s Dennis’ role. I respect him in making those final decisions, that, and recommendations, I should say. But having said that, you know, we’ll, we’re gonna just wait and kinda see what the market actually bears and what happens on this whole arrangement…

[Hayward] was one of our first calls that we was made, to his agent, to tell them that, “Hey, we’re serious about Gordon,” and he’s part of our long-term plans, that we would like to see being a Jazzman.

Match or not match, Gordon Hayward’s situation is completely different than Andrei Kirilenko or Wesley Matthews
We’re in a very good place financially, and with our cap room, and with our space, to really make wise, prudent decisions on how we want to continue to build this team, to, and put the necessary pieces in place, that, are, we’re giving a chance to really succeed, and co–and to grow.

And I think, again, our messaging to our fan base is, continue to help us, understand, we are committed to this. We’re in a great place. So many teams would be very jealou–are very jealous of where we’re at financially, that gives us those, that kind of flexibility. And we don’t wanna misstep that.

The same time, we want, also, the players to realize, when you take on certain responsibilities there comes with it, at, or, certain that, even dollars, it comes with that. Certain perceived responsibilities from the fan base, and fr–and even the team. And so, we wanna make sure that the players understand what the, that role is, and what the consequences could be in taking on certain roles.

When do you start talking with Enes Kanter and Alec Burks’ camps?
Well, we’ll start that very similar to the same time period that we did with Gordon and with Derrick [Favors]. And again, it’s gonna be a preference of what that i–that player and their agent and families may choose. I think it’s, I, the one positive thing that I’m happy about is we’ve made it very clear, based on what we did last year, that we’re not afraid to go either direction.

If they want to sit down, and we can structure what we think and they think would be a win-win, then we could sign, and that’s what we did with Derrick, great. If they have higher expectations and we feel it passes our threshold, we’re also very comfortable to say, “Let’s see how they end up performing and let’s see what the market, then, will bear for the future as well.”

You can use your cap space to go all-in on your young players, sign free agents outright, or do another Andris Biedrins-Richard Jefferson-Brandon Rush-type trade. Which are you looking at more?
For the listeners to understand: There is limited dollars that you have to spend. And there’s limited time that you have to give to athletes on the floor during the season or during a game.

And so, when you actually, then, make the decision to add in some key veterans into that mix, those veterans are gonna come in, of a s–of, that are veterans of a high caliber, they’re looking to say, “Okay…[I] want to use a lot of my time and be out there a lot, to help us to win.”

And so, right now, when we’re still developing these younger players, if you bring in these top-notch veterans, they’re gonna want more playing time, which means that we’re, then, gonna be taking away from the development of these younger players.

And our strategy, from last year continuing in this year, I think you will continue to see us stepping that up. But I th–the same time, we need th–we just now picked up two more young players. And they need time to really develop, a–so that they can become serious NBA players. And that doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes some time. And so, I, we want to be patient. We want to continue to l–give time for these players to grow.

* Like I’ve said previously, it’s hilarious how the Jazz are pretending the last few years never happened, like we haven’t spent the past three years being repeatedly told that the young guys couldn’t get more playing time because:

–You can’t give young guys playing time because they’re like children and they’ll become spoiled and entitled
–Player X played the same number of minutes in his third year in the NBA as Tim Duncan did his senior year at Wake Forest and Duncan developed just fine
–Game minutes =/= development because development happens in the gym or weight room
–John Stockton didn’t start until his fourth season
–Players A, B, C and D are only W, X, Y and Z years old
–22-year-old Player X would be a beat up 26-year-old if he got 35 minutes a night in his first few seasons
–Players have to earn their playing time so they’ll appreciate getting more minutes, if they get more minutes

Who will be on the Jazz’s summer league team?
We’re gonna have, on the team this year, in fact, eight players. Two of our ne–our two first-round picks, then six, also, of our players that were on the roster last year with us, from [Rudy] Gobert, Trey Burke, and we also have, you know, Diante Garrett, and a number of our other, our players as well. So, we’re gonna have some very good players on there that we’re really looking at and seeing how they’ve developed their’s off-season.

On the upcoming “open” scrimmage
That is definitely happening. We’re going to be having that, which, gonna actually be a week from Thursday, on July 10. We’re going to have, the doors will open here, we’ve actually moved it over here to EnergySolutions Arena, so that we can actually have more fans be able to s–watch that open practice. Doors open 6 o’clock.

Coach [Quin] Snyder will then talk. We’ll have some Q&A and introductions of the players, and then at 7:30, we’re actually gonna have about an hour of an open practice.

And we wanted the fans of Salt Lake City and of Utah* to have the first opportunity to watch these young draft picks and our young team in their, you know, kinda debut going out into the NBA. And so, it should be an exciting evening…We’d really invite everyone to, who would like to see these young players, come out and watch this open practice.

* As originally conceived by the Jazz front office, this “open” scrimmage was open only to “our good sponsors, also our season ticket holders–another plug, by the way, of why you should be a season ticket holder.” Good to see the definition of “fans” has been expanded to, you know, all fans.

Randy Rigby, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
** On studio headsets: I know that Austin’s really pulled out the number one for me.
** Jake Scott on Lindsey not being afraid of other people’s opinions: You’ve got a guy in this market you can, you know, tap a little bit.
Rigby: As we sat in the video room the weeks leading up to it, and I’ll just jump in from time to time, but I loved to watch kinda how the room works, because they’re watching and analyzing it. And they’ll be taking just one position and one player at a time…
[Dennis] does it not only with the Walt Perrins or the Justin Zaniks, but he’ll also reach down and say, “Bart Taylor”–Bart’s been in this for a couple years now, but still relatively young–“Bart, what’s your feelings on this?”
** On negotiations with Burks and Kanter: We’ve made it very clear, based on what we did last year, that we’re not afraid to go either direction.
** On weighing the pros and cons of possible moves: We’ve been doing it for some time, and measuring it.
** On the summer league: I think we’re, every night, in Thomas and Mack.* (1280)
* Thomas & Mack is the arena where Vegas Summer League games are played.



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