Turns out all that wheeling and dealing made by Kevin O’Connor this offseason was to help his successor take over the reins. After serving as the head of basketball operations since 1999 for the Utah Jazz, O’Connor, who facilitated many an awesome trade including the recent D-Will for Favors transaction that continues to pay off like a non-stop Christmas, has decided to step … er … up and relinquish his famed position in favor of an executive job. Jumping into his post will be Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey, who has played a pivotal part in San Antonio’s success in recent seasons.
This is why I love the Jazz. When other coaches step down from teams around the league, no one bats an eye. It’s just part of the plan. But when a Jazz coach, or GM, makes a move … well then everyone loses their minds! I’m not sure what this means for the Jazz future. I like the organizations pro-youth movement – or their attempt to modernize the Jazz into something more relatable to twitter users and Miami Heat fans – but all of these moves reek of unsteady ground.
Look at it this way: the Jazz lost longtime coach Jerry Sloan and his shadow Phil Johnson, then traded D-Will for Favors, Devin Harris, draft picks that brought in Alec Burks and Big Turkey, and a trade exemption that brought in Marvin Williams; then they traded Harris for Mo Williams, who brought along Foye … and now O’Connor is walking amidst contract negotiations with Paul Milsap … I get that they’re trying to rebuild, but man … this isn’t rebuilding. This is a complete overhaul.
Personally I liked the moves O’Connor made. He was a good GM, one who kept us competitive despite our unfair small market position. I saw Sloan’s departure as an opportunity for O’Connor to unleash the beast within, so to speak; as most of the front office moves were controlled, from what I hear, by Sloan and his coaching staff.
I don’t mind change, but I wonder if Utah is attempting the impossible: IE, attempting to build a championship team through trades and such rather than building from the ground up. Time will tell, I suppose. I don’t know too much about Lindsey, although bringing in a GM from another small market club, albeit a proven small market club, is actually quite exciting. Plus, it’s not like O’Connor is going far. He’ll reportedly serve as an overseer and retain key bits of power … which is to say he’ll get to play GM without all the travel. Lucky bastard.
Any-who, to read more about Lindsey click over here where the guys at Magic Basketblog put together a nice portfolio.
So, later Kevin! I’m pretty sure we’ll retire your jersey … (It should be noted that the Jazz have not officially announced this move, but will probably do so at a 10 A.M. press conference on Tuesday.)