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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interviews, 7/14

July 17, 2014
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Were there conversations with Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams about bringing them back?
Yes, with both of them. Absolutely. They both were, played very well last year, and were even better people, and even better leaders as well. So w–there was a bunch of conversation, and we’ll have some veteran presence. We have a little bit of that with Steve [Novak].

On Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward as leaders
I think we also have to be mindful that, now that we’ve made commitments to Gordon and Derrick, that we have to give them space to lead the group.

And Derrick’s been unbelievable. I’ve just, I’m jumping out of my skin with excitement. If you r–guys really want to talk about a player, I mean, he went to summer league training camp with us.

Our new coach had an hour-and-40-minute video session the night before Game One in the summer league, and Derrick was there and sat through the whole duration. As you guys have seen, Derrick is, was on the bench Game One in support of his teammates.

Gordon, when he gets clarity with USA Basketball, making the team, in, that would be a great win for him and for the program, but if he doesn’t make the team, he and his young wife* have already talked about being a permanent part of the community from a living standpoint and quickly getting back to Salt Lake. So I think the conversations that Gordon and I have had, it’s apparent that he feels even more responsibility to lead our group.

And again, I think Steve will add to that mix with his humor and his intelligence and his experience.

* “Young wife.” Lol.

On Rudy Gobert
Rudy really used his, last year wisely. He worked. He worked very hard with the coaches, specifically Alex Jensen. He worked hard with Mark McKown and his staff. His body’s improved. I think he’s put on eight pounds of very good weight.

I’ve been up late at the practice facility quite a bit this summer, and occasionally I’ll see Rudy in there, working. He’s, it didn’t show the other night, but he’s really worked hard on his free throw shooting…He’s worked hard on his jump hook, his strength…

The mental maturation has probably been greater than the physical. He’s more comfortable with the language. More comfortable in his own skin to make jokes and be part of the group, and we’re thrilled with where he’s at.

But he has a long way to go. He’s got to, he’s gotta get to spots offensively quicker, and we’re, he’s got to to–catch tough passes better. He’s got to play up and through contact. The free throw shooting’s obvious. But even though he didn’t have a game to his standards in Game One, you guys saw and everybody felt the impact that he could have.

When did you know Quin Snyder was the one?
I think the things that stand out is his commitment to the game. His ability to communicate effectively. His ability to touch players and help them develop…Before players know what you can do for them from a technical standpoint, they need to know that you care, and I’d say Quin really cares.

And so, there’s obvious, you know, charisma, intelligence, but those are really secondary to that he really cares about what he’s doing.

On Dante Exum
As we really got to know him, we liked his makeup just as much as his physical characteristics. Now, it’s a long process, and in some ways, the kid is handling what happened maybe in a more mature way than what, the, where the public’s at, in excitement.

You saw tonight that Dante got tired, and is going to be tired until he gets stronger. And so, that’s our charge, is just to systematically grow him up…and we really look forward to those efforts, ’cause we think he could be special with time.

Did Enes Kanter’s comments about valuing offense over defense during locker room cleanout shock you?
Look, we all have had moments where we say things…As Enes’, does he have an offensive bent? Absolutely. Is there, “Hey, if I can score more opp–than my opponent and get the win,” is there that view of the game? Sure.

When you have someone like Enes’ ability to be able to score and offensive rebound, that part of the game is clearly very important to him. So it’s not surprising to me that he would say it, and, because that’s a reflection of his game.

Now, it’s our job to say, “Hey, it’s also important to move the ball. It’s also important to sprint back and load up on defense, and then rotate hard, and then hit back to a body.” And we’ll make sure all those priorities on the defensive end are well-communicated.

Where are you with Raul Neto?
With Raul, we’re, we had a good two weeks with him in Salt Lake. Johnnie Bryant really had some great development sessions. We were doing some things with his shot, and he really made some progress. And we wanted to help him train, so we brought him to altitude in Salt Lake.

He’s got two national teams that he’s trying to make in Brazil. We’ll see as the summer goes on…but Raul’s going to be a big part of the Utah Jazz going forward.

We love his character. We love his ability to pass the ball. We like his pace, and it really fits into Quin’s vision. Now, when the right time to bring him to the program, we’ll see. (1280, 1320)

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