The Utah Jazz are on the verge of multiple changes with the first being the transition from president to advisor for Dennis Lindsey.
League sources: Utah VP Dennis Lindsey will transition out of top role. Justin Zanik will now run day to day operations for the Utah Jazz— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 28, 2021
This is the first of what is likely to be multiple changes coming for the Utah Jazz with Justin Zanik taking the reins.
This signals what could be a major front office shakeup for the Jazz, League Sources tell The Athletic https://t.co/vlV9mQZAho— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 28, 2021
Dennis Lindsey deserves a lot of credit for where the Jazz have gotten to as an organization. Before Lindsey, the Jazz were rudderless after the loss of Larry Miller and Jerry Sloan. Decisions were being made that put the Jazz into chaos. Dennis Lindsey turned that chaos into a strong organization. He helped create, and grow, multiple departments for the Jazz that helped them grow into what they are today. Many thanks are due to Dennis Lindsey for his time with the Jazz.
With his purchase of the team last year, it’s clear that Ryan Smith spent a year learning about the inner workings of the Jazz front office. He’s now making moves. He’s already gotten the literal buy-in of the Jazz by Dwyane Wade. Wade brings an important voice to the Jazz in various ways. His experience on the floor is one thing, but his connections and experience with other teams like the Miami Heat are bringing a lot to the table for the Jazz and Smith is listening.
After this move, it looks like Zanik will have all the control with major personnel decisions with the Jazz. This is also a sign that Smith trusts Zanik and trusts the Jazz with him making moves for the future.
With all the success of last season, it’s hard to overlook some of the decisions, or lack there of, during the trade deadline. Utah was the #1 team in the NBA for most of the season but did almost nothing to solidify themselves going into the playoffs. Players like PJ Tucker, Torrey Craig and Austin Rivers have made big contributions to their teams in the playoffs. The Jazz decided not to go after any of these players and it might have cost them a chance at going farther in the playoffs. Hopefully with Zanik now making decisions, the Jazz will be more aggressive when necessary.
Yes, the Jazz dealt with unfortunate injuries that were the biggest factor in them struggling to advance farther in the playoffs. Although, even with a bad ankle, Donovan Mitchell put up superstar numbers. It was the Jazz defense that failed them in their second round matchup, something that having a healthy Mike Conley wouldn’t have changed much. A switchable 4/5 in PJ Tucker, for example, could have been a major addition for the Jazz. That inactivity was surely considered in this move for the Jazz. With Justin Zanik in charge now, and backed by Ryan Smith, it will be interesting to see just how much the Jazz change.
Owner Ryan Smith has worked well with GM Justin Zanik, who’s played an instrumental role in the Jazz’s team building. Smith is expected to use opportunity to take look at front office structure and see where it can be strengthened. https://t.co/KMNfnIZHUa— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2021
Will it be behind the scenes moves with front office additions? Will we see a big splash by bringing in someone like Danny Ainge?
League Sources: Danny Ainge is in play, but if he comes into the front office, it won't be to lead the front office. Justin Zanik is the guy— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 28, 2021
How many roster changes will happen? After such a disappointing end to the season, where the Jazz underperformed as a #1 seed, the roster will be changed. It’s just a matter of how much.
Grab your lawn chairs and popcorn, Ryan Smith and Justin Zanik are about to make some interesting moves.