SALT LAKE CITY — Late Monday evening, a report from KUTV Channel 2’s David James reported that Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin O’Connor would be stepping down, but would remain involved in a consultant role.
On Tuesday morning, Jazz president Randy Rigby released the following statement:
“Media reports of Kevin O’Connor’s departure are inaccurate and he is not stepping down. He is fully engaged in Jazz preparations for draft season. The working relationship between Kevin and Dennis Lindsey is unchanged as both individuals provide valuable expertise, knowledge and perspective toward building a championship-caliber team. Kevin will be a member of the Jazz family for a long time. No further comment is needed.”
Jazz CEO Greg Miller (@GregInUtah) refuted the report in a tweet on Tuesday morning:
“Sources very close to the Utah Jazz (me) verify that Kevin O’Connor is not stepping down as EVP of Basketball Operations.”
This may have been false information, but I’m guessing it was premature news. Expect O’Connor to step down within the near future. Rumors have been circulating that O’Connor wouldn’t allow Dennis Lindsey to trade Millsap or Jefferson at the deadline against Lindsey’s wishes. Now there are new rumors saying that Lindsey wants to go young and O’Connor doesn’t want to move on without a good chance of making the playoffs next year.
If the two are bumping heads as rumored, expect Lindsey to get his wish and will be allowed to accumulate the players he wishes. O”Connor will have to move over and doing it in just a consulting way allows Lindsey to do the job the way he see’s fit with the wisdom of O’Connor still having his voice heard.