Right off the bat I will say that I have no idea what's happening with the Kevin O'Connor thing. As the story progressed Andy made a number of smart, and rational updates to his piece here. What we do know is that, eventually, KOC is going to keep giving more and more responsibility to his underlings and hopefully, ride off into the sunset. It is in my personal opinion that keeping him as an active part of the Jazz decision making process "just because" will continue to feed his ego in a malignant way and prevent us from really moving forward. Of course, the Utah Jazz are up to their old tricks of making it impossible to divulge any information from them:
via Moni: jazzfanatical.files.wordpress.com
Yep. Thanks Randy. Keep it up. Read his interview at Moni's site here. It's . . . pretty much as we can expect it to be. Anyway, the thing that cheeses me off (is that a thing?) is the fact that we're apparently trying to build towards a championship-caliber team. This is a big fat lie because every other time these front office replicants are asked what our whole deal is, it's been to be "playoff competitive". That doesn't mean competitive IN the playoffs, let alone being championship caliber. It means competitive for a playoff spot. That part isn't independent research by me either, they've flat out said it. It's a fancy word for "our goal every season is to challenge for the 8th, or 7th spot". If anything, that's the most indicative justification for cleaning house a little bit.
Don't embrace mediocrity. As Clark's on going review of what our team has done in the last few years shows (Part 1, Part 2), it can be argued that we kind of did that. Let's not embrace mediocrity guys. Even if that means hurting people's feelings in the front office OR in the locker room.
The Draft is a big thing. There's a bunch of stuff that needs to happen between now and the draft (June 27th) though before we know who we're going to pick.
- The NBA Draft Combine (May 15th - May 19th) -- This takes place at Attack Athletics, in Chicago. (This part may be in code: Which apparently is pretty far from my parents downtown Condo after all!) It's where a select group of players show up to be measured (height, wingspan, standing reach, vertical jump, lane agility speed, 3/4 court speed, etc), go through shooting drills, and get to stack up against one another in terms of three distinct classes: point guards, wings, and bigmen. It's a really exciting time for me at least because I keep a big spreadsheet on this stuff. You can help yourself a lot here if you are a bubble guy by going balls out and doing well. For example, Andrew Goudelock made quite a name for himself by shooting better than Jimmer Fredette at the combine two years ago. He used that momentum to get his butt drafted by the Lakers. Similarly you can really up your draft stock if you are super athletic. Both Kris Humphries and Kirk Snyder killed it on their metrics and bumped up a few spots on draft night -- and we were hurting for athletes -- and we reached for them. A lot of players who go to this will also be out of draft range, but their agents are telling them to go so they can be on the radar of NBA teams and maybe be invited to summer league. Even more depressing that that is that the top picks will who do show up to this event will do the bare minimum number of drills (if any), and only get their height and weight recorded. They do have the most to lose, I guess, if it's found out that they are less athletic than Kyrylo Fesenko by the numbers. So, meh.
- The NBA Draft Lottery (May 21st) -- This is where we get to see which team snuck into the top 3, while we get our #14 pick.
- Pre-Draft Workouts (May-June 26th) -- Last season the first pre-draft workout scheduled was May 8th. And they go on until the last possible moment before the NBA Draft. These individual job interviews are really important, so important that teams sometimes allow scouts from other franchises to watch them. These workouts are also the last time the Jazz used Karl Malone for anything as he evaluated some of the bigmen we brought in one day: Shelden Williams, Hilton Armstrong, Patrick O'Bryant, and Mouhammad Saer Sene. But that's neither here nor there. It was back in 2006 though, so, it's definitely not here. That's for sure. These workouts have players fly in and compete against a group of assistant coaches, NBA vets, NBA washups, and other draftees. The Jazz like to bring in a number of guys at the same position each time, and players of a complimentary position on the same day. They'll bring in distributors and bigmen. Or wingplayers and guys who can run the break. The biggest part of this for me is the individual interview. The Jazz have previously drafted guys who flew in for the interview, but did not have enough time to actually work out for them. If you can ace the combine and the interview I think the Jazz will definitely have you on their radar.
Two of these three things are important and something we have to worry about. The Jazz don't tip their hand much in who they bring in for workouts -- in fact I think I did a blog post that we draft a guy we work out something like 5.6% of the time. Some of it is smoke screen, some of it is the need to evaluate everyone, and some of it is just how the ball bounces.
Because the NBA Draft gurus keep changing their rankings every day I've now gone from scouting the Top 60 players to now scouting the Top 150 players who are on draft boards. This includes people who declare for the draft early, automatic entrants who are seniors, foreign players who declare for the draft early, *and* also automatic foreign entrants. I have all of their stats for 2012-2013 in a big spread sheet but now that it's 150 players I don't know how to do the post on this anymore. Should I break it down by draft spot (Lotto, First round, Second Round, etc), or position (PG, SG, etc), or category (Early entrant, Seniors, foreign)?
TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
So what's the deal with Enes Kanter 's twitter account? When is he allowed to tweet again? After the NBA Finals? After he passes a comprehension test on what happens during the NBA playoffs? As a blogger, but also as a fan, his tweets last year were amazing. He's probably in Turkey right now chilling and getting fat again right now though, so that explains the message data rate being something to self-impose a hiatus on.
Wow, I love our Jazz community. Everyone is stepping up -- bloggers, podcasters, people who do photoshops, and of course, the people who make the videos we love to put in our blog posts. Check out these two by TheUtahJazz1Fan:
Top 10 Crazy Shots:
Top 10 Alley-Oops:
Oh, btw Jazz marketing department -- these are the players and plays that put butts in the seats. May want to bring that up in a staff meeting or something with the other LHM Sports and Entertainment heads.
I think the psychology of the unknown is something pretty cool. In some cases we vehemently fear the unknown, but in cases of personal biases we tend to sugar coat the unknown when it favors us. I know that for me I feel like a team primarily led by Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, and Alec Burks would at least compete on the defensive end better than our team did last year. It could be an exciting team, but we may lose a lot of games. I don't know, it's really the unknown.
But that's not the only unknown in Jazzland.
We also have a big unknown in Dennis Lindsey. He's never been "the man" for a front office before, it's not like we hired a guy who has experience at that level. But he's young, he's new, and he has hired Alec Lam, so I expect him to be at least competent. Our bias is to expect him to be amazing though, just like some of us are biased towards expecting the C4 to be pretty darn good.
The Utah Jazz are being sneaky about the Kevin O'Connor news, and we may never know what will happen with that. But WHEN DL ascends to the top spot in the front office, how do you think he'll do in his first 24 months on the job?