Amidst the All-Star excitement, did anyone catch the Dennis Lindsey interview on Talkin' Sports, with David James? I like James as an interviewer. You may remember a several months ago, James broke the news that KOC had stepped down and into a role as "consultant". The Jazz promptly denied it, only to have it come into fruition. James is pretty good about asking tough questions, even though he knows that DL likely won't answer.
In the interview, DL talks about going into this season knowing that the "present screams, while the future whispers" and that they have a "multi-faceted plan" in place. He addresses the idea of tanking by saying that the goal for this season is to see what the Jazz have in their young core by giving them "new roles and new minutes." The second part is to "keep their balance sheet very flexible". I believe this is some sort of accounting term. The goal of this is to sign our players (see: Derrick Favors contract) or match offer sheets (See: Gordon Hayward this offseason).
Then it gets interesting. He goes on to describe "aggressive asset accumulation," saying, "If there was a player in last year's market that could have been a franchise or core player, we would have grabbed him, the Miller's would have fully committed to that, and then we would have built from there. That didn't come up in free agency, so the worst thing we could have done is pay an above average player, franchise money, and then we're stuck." After this he mentions using the money to "accumulate as many assets" as they could. He mentions the 5 draft picks and cash received in the offseason to show this.
Finally, he mentions the last part of the plan being the draft. He says that no one ever said that they are going to [as DJ termed it] "tank." The plan was to develop the young guys and "let the chips fall as they may," and if they end up being really good, then its good for the Jazz, if not then they have assets to sign a free agent, trade for one, or roll with their draft picks.
So what does this all mean? First of all, its encouraging to hear some of the exact thinking of the front office laid out in plain terms. Further, its good to hear that its one that (I think) we can all get behind. The entire thing is very well thought out, but with a good amount of good ol' fashioned Utah Jazz risk aversion. In fact, if the entire plan was put into a format for a business presentation, it would look something like this:
What does this mean for the immediate future (read: trade deadline)? You'll see more of this in the coming days, here at SLC Dunk, but seeing how slow things have been through All-Star Weekend, where supposedly all the wheeling and dealing happens, I would say that there is likely nothing that will happen. That doesn't mean the Jazz won't be active. In fact, I would guess that they are one of the more active teams behind the scenes. There's just not a lot happening because of the changes to the CBA. The most news we have even heard is how badly the Sixers want to unload Evan Turner, and how no one wants him. There's just not much happening, which is sad because its one of my favorite parts of the season. The drama! The intrigue!
The outlook doesn't get much more enticing when you look forward to the offseason and the opening of free agency. The headliners for this free agency are the "Big Three" in Miami. Bosh will be an unrestricted free agent, while Wade and LeBron will be if they take their ETO. Melo also has an ETO, but he's hasn't proven himself to be the type of player that elevates a franchise. Beyond that, the list isn't exactly franchise changing. Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki are so old. Lance Stephenson is a good player, but he is restricted and with Danny Granger coming off the books, Indiana will pay him. Danny Granger could probably be had for a decent contract, but he will choose to go somewhere closer to contending and his injury history is unappealing.
That leaves the draft. We'll talk more about that in the months to come. In the meantime, how do you feel about DL's comments? We all know the majority of Dunker's opinions on Ty. Aside from that, do you feel like the team is headed in the right direction? Do you like DL's multifaceted plan?