I think the best think that can happen to the Jazz at this point would be for Dennis Lindsey to bring to the organization a very clear vision of how he wants to shape the team. As it stands, the Jazz have four very young players with enormous ceilings. Two borderline All-Star big men. Three newly acquired veteran role-players with sweet outside strokes. And very importantly, as of next year, enormous financial flexibility. They can basically look at their players and commit, financially, to whatever vision they want to go with. But what is that vision?
I'm a fan of Kevin O'Conner. He has truly been one of the top GM's in the league. One of his greatest strengths is being a keen judge of talent. But, he is human, and has not been perfect. His weakness, in my opinion, has been a lack of a definitive vision for the team.
Case study: 2004 off-season. In 2004 the Jazz were coming off a surprisingly decent season. Picked by many pundits to be the worst team in the league, the Jazz came within a game of the playoffs. That team was led by Andrea Kirelinko, who made the All-Star game as a PF. Along with AK47 the Jazz's next two best players were the fearless competitors Matt Harping (SF) and Raja Bell (SG). That off-season, the Jazz had a lot of money to spend.
What did they do? They signed two PFs (Boozer and Okur) and resigned Gordan Giriceck (the SG who had ended the last season with the Jazz). All good talents, and in a vacuum, good signings. But, there was no vision to that. The moves forced AK to the SF position, Harpring to the bench, and Raja bailed from the team a year later. The Boozer, Okur front-court, though potent offensively, proved to be an unmitigated disaster on the defensive end. AK never reached his ceiling playing out of position. Harpring and AK (the two leaders of the surprising season) had to compete with each other for playing time. The Jazz roster was a complete bomb, and the team was one of the worst in the league the next year.
Of course, the upshot of that season, as we all know, was that the Jazz ended up with good draft position. In one of the decades biggest trade fleecings, O'Conner to worked his magic and turned three first round picks (none of who amounted to anything in the league) into DWill.
The point is, O'Conner is great at some things. He has been great at drafting players. He has pulled off two of the greatest trades in the last 10 years. He has managed the budget of the teams. The only thing that has been lacking, was a coherent vision of what the team was supposed to be. The Jazz have constantly kept the roster full of talent but it has really kind of been a mismatch of talent.
Here is where Dennis Lindsey can shine. If he can add vision to this team, the team has the assets to do probably put that vision together. One common theme of championship teams is a clear understanding of who the top 2-3 players are, keeping them happy, and inserting role-players around them who know they are role-players. Look at the dynasties. Duncan/Parker/Ginobili. Kobe/Gasol and Kobe/O'Neal, Jordan/Pippin. Clear cut. No doubt about the role of the players. A clear understanding that the coach was in charge. Even the one-time champions were very defined the year they won. That is the only way to win.
So does Dennis Lindsey's have a vision? And if YOU were Dennis Lindsey, what would YOUR vision be?