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Utah Jazz, Idaho Stampede to make big announcement today

When VIPs are heading to Boise you know there's a good reason

Diana Allen

As released yesterday by the Utah Jazz, there is going to be a press conference today at 1 p.m. (MT) -- a big enough presser that they are going to stream it live here.

Or just watch it here.

What is this presser about? Well, it's probably about the future of the Utah Jazz, their partnership with the NBA D-League, and their affiliate that's currently in Idaho, the Stampede.

UPDATE: The nooz via twitter:

Who is going to be there?

  • Randy Rigby, the President of the Utah Jazz
  • Dennis Lidsey, the General Manager of the Utah Jazz
  • Malcolm Turner, the President of the NBA D-League
  • Steve Brandes, the President of the Idaho Stampede
  • and Bill Ilett, the Managing Investor of the Idaho Stampede

When the Jazz made their last big presser there, that SLC Dunk covered, Turner wasn't in attendance. So this is bigger than announcing a formal 'exclusivity' between these teams, or the naming of the new head coach (Dean Cooper). We can speculate on just what this is going to be all about. A potential name change / rebrand, perhaps? Basketball John researched the trademarks held by other NBA teams for NBA DL team name possibilities, and the Jazz only hold just this one and the Utah Flash name. By comparison, the Lakers registered eight different team names, and the Thunder had six. If this is to be a name change, it would be a huge surprise -- though a rebrand is not out of the question.

Some in Idaho aren't exactly pleased with the relationship. Statesman reporter Michael Lycklama writes:

The Stampede's first season as a single affiliate for the Jazz is entering its final two weeks. And while the Boise club is taking its lumps on the court, this season poses a first step in a new direction for the Stampede and the NBA Development League.

Idaho joined the D-League movement to pair up with a single NBA club three years ago when it signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. But Bill Ilett, the Stampede's managing investor, said Idaho and Portland parted ways after two years because the Blazers didn't share other clubs' vision of building through and investing in the D-League.

That led to a rekindling of Idaho's relationship with the Jazz, who previously sent players to Boise when the Stampede fielded prospects from multiple NBA clubs. But with the NBA's push to eventually develop 30 D-League clubs for 30 NBA teams, Idaho and Utah agreed to a single affiliation, similar to minor league baseball's arrangement with MLB.

Ilett knows the deal hasn't paid off in the win-loss column yet. But he sees the team's recent success - two wins in its past three games - and the addition of several veterans to the roster as reasons to believe the future will be brighter.

"Our record (8-34) is horrendous," Ilett said. "It's been tough. I don't care if you're owners of the Idaho Stampede, if you're the coaches, or the players or the Utah Jazz, it's just been gut-wrenching to see what's going on.

"But I do think they've got the ship righted and started heading in the right way, doing things for next year, and hopefully we have a decent finish this year."

- Michael Lycklama, Idaho Statesman, March 2015

You really need to read the entire piece, which goes over the history of this deal, the benefits, and the on court draw backs. I worry about the unity of the two franchises. Sure, Ast GM Justin Zanik has gone up a few times to watch the team -- but the tried and true use of the Jazz affiliates have always been as really expensive scouting tools to call up NBA-DL players from OTHER teams, and not really to develop their own young players or call up players from their own farm team.

Perhaps that's just the thinking of the old GM, in the pre-Dennis Lindsey days. Before him the Jazz did not call up any players that were not already on Jazz contracts (either from the Jam or Flash). This season that streak has been broken with the call ups of Jack Cooley and Jerrelle Benimon. But if you look at the Jazz transaction history for this season you see they've called up more players from outside of the Idaho Stampede than they have from it (Elijah Millsap, Patrick Christopher, Elliot Williams, Chris Johnson, Bryce Cotton).

What about sending players down? Ian Clark was sent down and brought back up. Grant Jerrett has been exiled there, but is getting good burn. When he was part of the team Toure' Murry was shuttled all around the court, but couldn't break into the Jazz lineup. In the case of Murry, he played a lot of forward for Idaho, despite being an NBA PG, and a combo guard in NCAA play. Curious.

So the Jazz want to use the Stampede more, that's what we were told. Lindsey picked the Stamps head coach, and Cooper was part of Jazz training camp this last season. Having actually watched both Jazz and Stamps games this season I do not see a lot of similarities between the two offenses, though. A big part of that is personnel. What Gordon Hayward could do was a lot different than what, say, Kevin Murphy (when he was there) could do. I get that.

I hope these two financially bound franchises can make it work, though. Similarly, I hope to improve the relationship with the Stamps PR department.

Name change? Rebrand? Team move? Front office move? Some sort of financial deal that needs a press conference? As always with how the Jazz have been (un)involved with the NBADL, I am expecting something, and that is to be underwhelmed. Wow me today, Idaho Stampede. Make me a believer in what the Utah Jazz are doing there.