This off-season has been monumental for the future of the Utah Jazz franchise. They hired their eighth head coach in their 40 year franchise history in Quin Snyder. They picked two top prospects in the fabled 2014 NBA Draft in Dante Exum and Rodney Hood. And they now need to figure out the fates of restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, and offer possible contract extensions for Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. And, well, the team is set to already pay Derrick Favors $12 million a season for the next four seasons. (They most they ever paid John Stockton was $11 million per season, over two seasons.) These six first rounders and new coach look to be major parts of the team for at least . . . at least . . . another few weeks.
And it cannot be stated just how many potential big changes are happening right now with the team.
But I tried to state them in-between saying "umm" on "The Lottery Mafia's" Podcast. TLM focus on lotto teams, of which the Jazz clearly are. I talked with two smart young men (James and Nick -- Charlotte Hornets fans outside of their Lotto Mafia neutral point of view) and basically recapped everything that's been happening in Jazzland since the end of the season till now*.
* This podcast was recorded the MORNING of the day we learned that Steve Novak was traded to Utah. We could have talked about him had the news broke sooner -- however I think the things we did talk about where pretty awesome already. They may confirm some of your biases, or help explain some of my crazy though process. Or, at the very least, give you over an hour of free content (because apparently that's the metric to determine if someone who is obnoxious and condescending is a good guy or not) to enjoy. (Note to Nick and James -- this has nothing to do with you guys, this is a Utah Jazz fan civil war flashpoint. Just disregard it.)
Here's a list of the topics and approx time stamps for each:
- Quin Synder hiring [4:00]
- Gordon Hayward 's restricted free agency, max contract talk, why we may hate the contract but still make a smart move by matching a max [18:00]
- Dante Exum and Trey Burke -- competition or co-operation? [38:00]
- Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors -- the future or a real world example of how you can mess up development / something to avoid doing again with Exum and Burke? [49:00]
- Did Alec Burks really improve or was it something else? [1:00:00]
- parting thoughts on Rudy Gobert and his potential [1:04:00]
It was a lot of fun to chat about the Jazz with James and Nick (Nick and James), they did their homework on our small market team and seemed to come to some of the conclusions we did independent of being part of our "Utah bubble". It's refreshing to hear their takes on these situations and try to link them to the struggles of small market, lotto based teams in other parts o the NBA. The audio quality on my end was not so great (going into webcam, and not using a mic), but out of all the times I've talked about the Jazz in the last 2 years, this was right up there with but quality and depth.
Talking with other smart NBA fans means you have to do less exposition when answering. And I quickly found out how smart these guys were.