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Utah Jazz Quietly Assemble D-League A-Team: The Downbeat #1438

Everyone else is losing their mind about Kevin Love going to the Cavaliers. And the Utah Jazz are reaping the D-League benefits.

Lintao Zhang

The Australian Invasion continues.

Brock Motum was a favorite at Summer League among those here at the dunk.  His hustle and work ethic were a sight to behold.  Hopefully he is able to make it to the Idaho Stampede.  I think having Brock Motum near the Utah Jazz could be a great way to help Dante Exum transition to life in the big time and allow him to transition to life away from Australia.

Too many times people forget what a huge transition it is to go to a professional job.  For basketballers of Dante's age it's an even further leap.  The better the support group the more likely Dante is able to succeed.  Any money put in to allowing Dante to feel more comfortable with his surroundings will help his future development.

Beyond that, Brock Motum is actually one heck of a basketball player.  There were many times during Summer League that I found myself saying, "Who's that guy out there?  That was a good move."  So the benefits with this move are two-fold.  One, Brock could be a diamond in the rough find, and, two, he'll help Dante transition to everyday professional life.

Via, here are Brock Motum's PER36 stats from Summer League.


In addition to the Brock Motum signing, the Murph is back.  *Rick James voice* KEVIN MURPHY.

You might remember that Kevin Murphy was traded for Golden State veteran remains last year (Biedrins, Jefferson, Rush, Draft Picks).  Now the Jazz have him back.  SO WHO WON THAT TRADE NOW, WARRIORS??? HUH??? *Slinks away and cries inside*

The great thing about Kevin Murphy is he had great success with the Idaho Stampede last year.  His numbers are as follows.


It appears the Utah Jazz are putting just as much emphasis as to whom they target for their Utah Jazz squad as to the targets of their Stampede affiliate.  If you look at their moves so far to fill out the rest of the roster these are not just guys who are last minute "LET'S FILL THE TRAINING CAMP SPOTS" decisions.  These are genuine minor league acquisitions.  We are seeing Dennis Lindsey getting to have the scope of his vision fulfilled.  The Utah Jazz are behaving like the San Antonio Spurs.  Look at the signings.

Kevin Murphy

Dee Bost

Jack Cooley

These three were all signed to the same contracts and given a certain amount of guaranteed money.  $65k guaranteed.  This almost appears to be an incentive to stick with the team if they grab them for the Idaho Stampede.  An amount to sweeten the deal.  Then they have also signed/traded for

Brock Motum

Carrick Felix

While Brock will most likely not see an NBA floor this year, Carrick Felix will go between the Stampede and Jazz many times this season.  But this is a stacked lineup already for the Idaho Stampede.  Add Ian Clark to this mix and the Jazz have a deep D-League bench that they are developing.  The dangers of developing at home is that your money and resources could develop somebody else's next Danny Green.  There is nothing guaranteeing a D-Leaguer to stay within your organization right now.  But those resources can build loyalty to your brand.  That is what the Utah Jazz are hoping this does for their organization.  It could help them build their diamond in the rough.

While Gordon Hayward not making the USA Basketball team might sting us Jazz fans looking for any reason not to gawk at Gordon Hayward's new GINORMOUS contract.  *Please contract, I want to love you, just give me a reason to like you*  Gordon Hayward not being selected to the final group play is actually a good thing.  Here's why.  The valuable experience of practicing with and playing against the elite of the USA is where Gordon had the most potential to learn.  Once they got into group play and bracket play, the practicing decreases and they are playing other teams where he was not guaranteed to see a second on the basketball court.

This was an awesome experience for Gordon Hayward.  In the same summer where he got a big contract, he was shown that he wasn't to his goal yet.  He still needed work and he wasn't what the USA needed for their team.  That's a step back.  But a good one.  It will allow him to see where his opportunities lie and how he can improve for the season.  Not only that, he now has the time off to improve those areas of opportunity before the season.

Gordon Hayward will also take that practice environment back to the Utah Jazz.  Energized by a new head coach Gordon Hayward will now, for the first time in his career, be allowed to be the senior most voice on the team.  He is the leader.  He is not some token symbol for leadership.  He is the leader.  No longer is there a Richard Jefferson, Big Al, or Paul Millsap in the locker room shouldering the burden while the front office heaps the responsibility of someone else's leadership office on Hayward when he is not in the situation to shoulder the load.  This is truly his team now.

The money says it's Hayward's team.

His experiences say it's his team.

His teammates say it's his team.

Now his voice will have to say it's his team.

Nightmare Fuel