The NBA Draft is coming up in June. The Utah Jazz have already started to work out some players (last week) and are at the Combine right now. And before you know it the NBA Draft Lottery is going to be here -- specifically on Tuesday. So get hype! Get ready! The Jazz will be! The people who own the Jazz, though, the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, are going through some upheaval. Perhaps that's not the most precise or polite wording, but things are changing up top for them -- and it's trickling all the day down to the luxury properties they own. That's a pretty big deal, but we continue to be told that the Utah Jazz are safe. If you look at what they are doing with their assets in a business sense, they are doing great right now -- even if other properties like Fanzz are not. It's easy to say that the team is doing well, but it's another to break it all down, and Mychal does so as he explains their Blue Ocean Strategy. A huge part of this strategy is having young players who are hard to replace. Two of them are Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert. Dante, 19, hasn't had a moment to rest until pretty much now. But Dante Exum doesn't need your rest. He's a baller, and his energy levels and high minute tolerance are going to be off the charts pretty soon. Rudy Gobert, on the other hand, is so much older at 22 -- he gets to have some much deserved rest. Check out where he is!
1.The NBA Draft Lotto is right around the corner!
The NBA Draft lottery will be at halftime of one of the playoff games on May 19th, which is Tuesday. While lots of scouts, general mangers, and non-print media are currently in a gym that's a 10 min drive from a condo we own in Chicago, some of the Jazz bigwigs aren't flying directly back to Salt Lake City; instead, they will be flying to New York for the lotto.
Instead of sending a younger player, as some teams do; or a young, attractive family member of the team owner, the Jazz have decided to go with the ever popular "old white guy in a suit" routine that resonates so well with the rest of America. Layton breaks down the situation here; and Diana discusses the history of the lotto, how the Jazz do in it, and other earth shaking conspiracies here!
2.The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies are cutting the fat
The ownership group that owns, among other highly visible properties, the Utah Jazz are continuing to make changes. They have decided to cut ties with the Miller Motorsports Park, and shut it down. (Genessy, Deseret News, 2015) This comes just two months after Larry H. Miller's heir, Greg Miller, CEO of the LHM Group, stepped down. (Falk, Salt Lake Tribune, 2015) All of this is happening almost precisely a year after LHM CFO Bob Hyde retired. (Novak, SLC Dunk, 2014) When I wrote the title ('cutting the fat') I meant it as getting rid of the Motorsports park -- a luxury item that didn't really add much to the LHM Group. But now, with all the moves at the TOP of the organization, perhaps the fat were all of the old guard who were incapable of doing what the "Board" were interested in.
It's an interesting transition for the company who owns the team we love. But the team looks to be the jewel in the crown, and primed to continue growing. NBA Teams go for a lot now-a-days. This may not be the "6th largest car dealership" anymore with how the economy is going. The insiders and whistle-blowers that connect with us, at SLC Dunk, suggest that there are yet other pieces of the LHM Group that will fall from the tree in the next few financial quarters. But one of them isn't going to be the Jazz.
3.The Jazz are in great hands
Dennis Lindsey is a wizard. He's a high level one, at that. Former Nuclear Engineer turned MBA guy, MyLo, broke it all down with lots of charts, graphs, and words -- and I can't even explain any of it. It's best if you just read it all here.
WORDS! AND LINES!
4. Dante Exum's greatest talent is that . . . he doesn't take time off?
This isn't so much of a story, but perhaps original research on my part here. But Dante Exum looked really gassed at some stages of the season last year -- before the All-Star break for sure. I understand why. He played all. the. time. He played through to the end of high school basketball season (different than the time we have for it in North America). He then was drafted in late June (after pre-draft work outs), and took part of the LVSL training camp for the Jazz. Then played in Vegas in July. And then flew halfway around the world to take part of Team Australia's training camp for the FIBA World Cup. Then he flew to Europe with his team and played in tune up games for over two weeks BEFORE the FIBA World Cup even started. That ended only weeks before informal Jazz workouts in September, and then training camp in October. He then played in all 82 games this season as a rookie . . . and is now down in Australia again training with Team Australia because a) they didn't win the world cup so they still have to qualify for the Olympics in 2016; and b) their qualification games start in August. Of course, those games for Team Australia in August will happen AFTER the Utah Jazz participate in the Summer League. Utah has made a commitment to play in Las Vegas this year *and* hold their own Rocky Mountain Revue earlier in July. Dante is expected to play in both. If he keeps this up he's going to put a lot of miles on those young legs, but probably be much better for it. It's almost John Stockton -like with the endurance he's going to end up building up. As a side note, because he's so busy he just doesn't have the time to get into any trouble. At least, that's what he told Sports talk radio (SEN 1116 AM) in Melbourne, Australia.
"During the season you are mostly traveling, training or sleeping. So it was pretty easy for me not to get into any trouble or find trouble"
Hilarious. Also, keep it up. And check out that story that's at the Melbourne Herald Sun, it is about more than avoiding trouble. It's a little homer-rific though and seems to pretend that Nerlens Noel is a thing.
5. Rudy Gobert gets to rest
One guy who also has to play this summer for his home nation for a chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympics is Rudy Gobert. He had a busy off-season so far doing charity work and helping spread awareness in Africa. He has returned to Guadeloupe, which is a Caribbean Island owned by France. (History lesson: France was a colonial power back during the Age of Sail, just like England, Spain, Portugal, and the Dutch) Heck, they even use the Euro over there. Our Euro is chilling there right now.
That's not much of a story, but it's the off-season and our team isn't filled with troublemakers getting their mugshots put out on the news. Also, Guadeloupe has twice the population as Salt Lake City, and better weather. So ESPN's Amin Elhassan probably has it ranked higher than the #801 on his personal list.
Previous Top Five Stories:
- March 28 - April 3: Rod Rod Hundley passes away; Grantland kills Enes Kanter and his comments on Utah; Australian Newspapers talk about Dante Exum; the Idaho Stampede have been purchased by the Utah Jazz and what does this mean for the future; and Rudy Gobert is a legit star according to the National basketball writers of America
- April 4 - April 10: DUKE wins the NCAA National Championship; Rodney Hood will play in summer league; National media think the Utah Jazz will make a run for the playoffs next season; Quin Snyder interviews + Moni = awesome; some national writers don't think the Thunder want Enes Kanter back
- April 11 - April 17: Utah Jazz players could make some noise with some end of season awards; Rocky Mountain Revue dates and teams; Bryce Cotton 's awesome oop; Gary Briggs retires; Locker Clean Out exit interviews
- April 18 - April 24: Rudy Gobert's reaction to placing 5th in DPOY; Alec Burks desire to get back on the court; Quin Snyder is a Top 10 Coach; Andrei Kirilenko is still AK-47; Larry H. Miller day of service
- April 25 - May 1: Gordon Hayward blogs about his impending fatherhood; Rudy Gobert is doing charity work in Africa this off-season; Ante Tomic is really never, ever, ever coming over to the Jazz; Utah Jazz license plates are fun; and it's been a very long time since the Jazz won a playoff game
- May 2- May 8: Our bigman continues to voice his displeasure for not winning awards, and his hunger for next season; is giving back and increasing visibility for charity; a breakdown of the Jazzmen who may be on the road to the 2016 Olympics ( , , , Raul Neto, , , , Tibor Pleiss, , Ante Tomic, and maybe ); a look at the players the Utah Jazz have worked out so far pre-draft; and a look at the free agency strategies for the Jazz
- May 9 - May 15: You're already reading this one, you dumb-dumb!