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The Downbeat #1411 - In Between Basketball Edition

Harry How

During this Summer League we got a good glimpse at one of the most exciting aspects of this coming season -- the new Jazz offense. If you had a chance to watch any of the games, you saw an offense that was distinctly different from the previous few seasons. There was more ball movement and more player movement, and it led to better opportunities.

Very important to the process of installing a new offense is getting the players to buy-in. According to our friend Jody Genessy at DN, at least one player already has:

"We play with a pass," Gobert said following the Jazz’s 75-73 NBA Summer League win over Portland at the Thomas & Mack Center. "That’s good for me."

The big man, and All-NBA Summer League 2nd Team selection is already using terms straight from Coach Q's vocabulary.

"Playing with pace hopefully is not just getting the ball up the court quickly, but it’s sharing the ball and playing with a pass."

The premise behind Coach Q's philosophy is that it is much more efficient to pass the ball than it is to run and dribble with it; which is probably some sort of law of physics.

The Jazz are all set to crack the fan market in Australia after the signing of Exum, and now with this bit of news from The Sydney Morning Herald:

The Utah Jazz might soon become Australia's favourite NBA team, with Brisbane's Brock Motum accepting an invite to a training camp with the franchise.

According to the SMH, Motum, who was a surprise standout with the Jazz Summer League squad, has been invited back to training camp, when the team assembles in the Fall.

Let us know if there are any Phil Jackson sightings:

To fill the gap in your life between Summer League, and the start of Preseason, there is the FIBA World Cup. Here's what the schedule for that looks like, from the USA Basketball website:

7/27 Assemble for Training Camp- This should provide a good bit of news to follow, as we get a peak into how the roster for the tournament will look.

8/1 USA Basketball Showcase (intrasquad scrimmage)- This will be open to the public, and is held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Vegas

8/17 Exhibition game vs. Brazil- Jazzman Raul Neto and the Brazilian squad take on Team USA at the United Center, in Chicago

8/20 Exhibition game vs. Dominican Republic- At MSG, in NYC

8/22 Exhibition game vs. Puerto Rico- Also at MSG in NYC

8/30 FIBA World Cup tournament kicks off

This isn't really Jazz related, but it's interesting news. From Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) of The Oklahoman, is this article about Thunder first round pick Josh Huestis.

The article praises the Thunder for a forward thinking, cost saving move in making Huestis the first ever domestic "draft and stash". Here's what happened: The Thunder drafted Huestis and rather than signing him, Huestis signed a preempting contract with the Tulsa 66ers.

Here's why I'm mentioning this: The Thunder were one of the most profitable franchises last season. They traded away James Harden because their ownership group won't touch the Luxury Tax. Now, they have convinced this kid to forgo the $918k he would have made this year and take the $25k he would earn in the D-League. As Mayberry describes it:

By committing to the Thunder pipeline, though, Huestis has as much of a guarantee as professional sports can offer. He has a franchise committed to developing him on the front end with the financial payoff fixed into the back end.

But, without a contract, what does Huestis have? A verbal guarantee from the same guy that verbally guaranteed that the Sonics would stay in Seattle. I'd take my chances as a second round pick and trust in my ability to make the squad. Worse case? You end up in the D-League anyway.

What are your thoughts?