By now, it's hopefully settled in that it is indeed the off season. And hopefully for many of you, this is when the fun begins. Now the off season can't replace the games, and I know that some of us will need a break from the emotional ride that this season has been at times, but I promise that I will do my best to keep the summer interesting by looking at several angles and topics of interest. In my estimation, this summer is probably the most monumental summer since Stockton and Malone left the building. That may sound a little dramatic, but the direction of the franchise for the next 8-10 years is going to be defined by decisions made this summer.
Will the team add veteran free agents that can start some games and ensure the team has the best chance possible to make the playoffs next year?
Will it be something in between?
The answer to these questions will reveal so much about all the questions we have been asking for 2 and a half years.
I feel very hopeful about the future of this team as of today. A lot of that hope lies in Dennis Lindsey, who I have been very complimentary of. I feel that Jazz fans generally are unaware of what a big deal it was to land Lindsey. He might not be the best General Manager in the NBA, but he might be one of the best. We really don't know yet. In fact, of all the pieces of the Utah Jazz team, between the coach, the front office members and the coaching staff, Dennis Lindsey might have the most potential of any of them, and might be the most important member next to the owners. But I might be wrong.
It got some mention in Moni's downbeat on Friday, but Dennis Lindsey's locker room clean out interview with David Locke was a must listen. When you get a free 20 minutes click...
Two things I found interesting about the interview were 1. Dennis Lindsey's understanding of the balance in a relationship between a head coach and a general manager and 2. the fact he didn't call Derrick Favors one of the best defensive players on the team, he called him one of the better defensive players in the NBA, while acknowledging that he had specific areas that he could improve in defensively. He values Derrick Favors.
I'm also hopeful because the Jazz have some options in addressing their point guard needs this summer. Here are the offensive breakdowns of two free agent point guards this summer via mysynergysports.com:
If you notice, the player in the white rows (player A) had a really great offensive season, while the gray rowed player (player B) did not. Player A was actually the 19th best offensive player in the NBA judging by points per possession. Player A also was the 3rd best player in the league on spot up shooting, which would have made him a great complement to both Gordon Hayward and Al Jefferson. Player B was better as an isolation player, but inferior offensively in every way. Player A is Chris Paul and Player B is Brandon Jennings. Makes some sense. The two players are very different in talent level. Except for the fact that I just lied to you.
Player A is Jose Calderon and Player B is Jeff Teague, who many Jazz fans have taken a liking too lately. Just from a possession by possession offensive standpoint, Jeff Teague is no better than Brandon Jennings. And vastly inferior to Calderon, who might be cheaper and more available.
I talk about it every week, it seems, but even if the Jazz aren't able to land Trey Burke, there are a handful of intriguing point guard prospects that will be available to the Jazz at either pick. I just learned of another one, about a week ago. This draftexpress video is a year old now, but German Dennis Schroeder has declared for the draft and is a certainly interesting prospect, especially defensively.
I'll be honest. I'm on a quest to ensure that Tyrone Corbin gets a fair shake as a new head coach, while also pointing out his flaws and holding him and other decision makers accountable. I would like to show exhibit A on how I think Tyrone Corbin should be viewed and handled. It is essentially exactly how I feel. From Kevin Pelton's ESPN chat:
There are also some really interesting and fair things discussed about Ty Corbin in the above interview with Dennis Lindsey. So have at me, and especially Coach Corbin in the comments section. Just try to be fair. That's all anyone can ask, I suppose.