The big news is, invariably, that we finished the 2013 NBA Draft with University of Michigan point guard Trey Burke. It may be a surprise to some of you, but I live in Detroit. As a result, the media here had a lot of access to Burke all season long and I know how good he is. As a consequence of that I think was not even dreaming about a situation where we would get him. I focused my attention on other things to address in this draft and looked at the types of players we could draft and try to maximize the returns on those lesser investments. But Dennis Lindsey stepped up to the plate when Burke fell and we made a move to get him.
And in addition to trying to get him, we did achieve success and got him. The Jazz killed it here. In the SB Nation Blogger draft my whole strategy was to try to get Trey Burke, and to get him we were going to move the #14, #21, and trade back into the draft to get another good player. We got Dennis Schroeder, Kelly Olynyk, and Steven Adams (and J.J. Barea). We were going to made more moves to turn Adams into Cody Zeller. We were doing more work to get Burke against bloggers. And Dennis and Kevin got Burke with much less.
So hats off there.
But the team didn't stop. They also went out and bought back IN to the draft to pick up high upside guy Rudy Gobert. The team kept the hits coming when after the draft they traded the Brooklyn Nets 2015 2nd rounder (from the Mehmet Okur trade) for the #47 pick Raul Neto of Brazil.
The big picture is that coming into this draft I expect the same old / same old KOC style stick with what we have, or maybe swap 1 for 1 in the 2nd round or late 1st. That didn't happen. We finished the draft with three picks. They weren't the #14, #21, #46 that I thought we'd get. We finished with the #9, #27, and #47. We may be paying more for these guys, but I think the end result is that we have the best guy for us in this draft, and added two other guys who could be rotation players some day.
If you extrapolate what we're doing as a franchise (having a 20+ player 3 day mini FA camp, sending a legion of people to the combine, hiring extra scouts fulltime, bringing back Jerry Sloan and Karl Malone) -- we're doing things a little differently than we were before. It's a positive move that makes sense and looks like we have a direction now.
Some media blowhards were calling what we were doing as mainly PR moves, then changing their tune once again (almost quick enough to get whiplash -- hope they have good insurance) to say what we were doing was great.
If we look at what the Jazz are doing, they are deviating from the norm a bit. Which is good, because doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. I'm glad our team has stopped being crazy.
And we can get back to winning again. (Or not, but just playing better ball and being more fun to watch >>> a 10th or 9th seed again) The Lindsey Jazz is a brave new world. One I'm excited to be a part of.
The Bizzaro Jazz would be the Detroit Pistons. They have a solid history, have lots of titles / East Banners / Division Banners and were contenders for very long. But they've botched the rebuild in the last few years. They have good parts, but are on coach #8 (it seems like), and things don't look to be getting better. The Sports radio I have in the car is 97.1 The Ticket. They aren't actually owned by the same people who own the teams they report on, so their tone is vastly different than what Utah radio appears to be like. Here's a link to a heavily scubbed drive-time program where one of the hosts (the other regular was away that day) lets out some of his frustrations against Joe Dumars (Joe D is their GM), and for all the laziness over the years. They really talk about the Utah Jazz a bit and point out that there are guys on our team that other teams want: specifically Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks.
Valenti ripping Dumars / Pistons Org about passing on Burke excerpt MP3
Please note it's a running gag that one of the hosts uses to sound off on an empty phone line
to punctuate a point that "no one cares about this" during conversations.
The reason why I'm putting this here is because this is what Jazz-land could be *if* we didn't get Dennis Lindsey. If we were stuck with an increasingly complacent and stubborn GM we would be where Detroit is today. Or, more precisely, what Joe D did a few nights ago was what KOC did instead of moving up to get Damian Lillard back when we had all the assets in the world to move (like Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap). What a difference a year makes . . .
I'm glad we were proactive this year, and did something. Previous years? We didn't do much. We're in better hands now. Long live Dennis Lindsey -- who traded two guys for one, then traded back into the draft once with money and a pick, and then traded back into the draft a second time in the same draft to pick up a potential draft and stash with a 2015 pick. In the past I was very critical of our front office for their apparent lethargy. Part of this is run-off of Karl Malone complaining about never getting any players in Utah during his peak. But part of this is also based upon actual production over the last 10 years of Jazz basketball.
Dennis Lindsey was decisive and got things done in one night that puts him above the last 10 years of Jazz basketball front office moves. (Really, it was proactive, and he got it done)
Being at the NBA Combine and NBA Draft this year I've had a lot of exposure to NBA stuff. Which is funny, because talking with Andy Larsen of SaltCityHoops today it seems like the Jazz are running a very different show. I do think that the two of us, and our respective blogs will have a lot of awesome content for Jazz fans this off-season long. Also, now that the draft is over we can focus on Free Agency, and I will be bringing back the Mailbag. So hit me up guys and gals.
Speaking of mail, I love how Trey Burke wants to work with Karl Malone. Before this was a PR move to bring the 2nd All-Time scorer back to our team. Now our draft picks who aren't even bigmen want to work with him. From the actual NBA Draft interview that I was at (none of the other Jazz media were):
"[Karl Malone] can teach me a lot. Especially reading the bigs, setting the screen, reading a big that's guarding the screen. The screener. Just giving me a lot of input about how to become a really good pro. Karl Malone is an all-time great. I can definitely get a lot of feedback from him." ~Burke, T., June 27, 2013
Yeah. our NON-BIGMEN want to work with a Hall of Famer who has been BEGGING to work with our young team. Glad we're not still being little girls about this thing and actually recognizing that Karl is a good coach. I'm going to have the full video up as soon as I finish making it look good.
Lots of original content here at The Dunk. Why? Because Jazz fans deserve it : )
One of the largest surprises for me at the NBA Draft was that I was sitting in front of guys like Chris Sherridan. Oh wait, I mean one of the largest surprises for me was that Texas point guard Myck Kabongo went undrafted. It wasn't just a surprise to me either, a number of people who didn't even know me were buzzing about him. An individual well-wisher of his who I do know had texted with me about the entire situation during draft night and the next day. It's a strange situation that I'm still trying to get my head around.
But to further prove the point of what a good dude he is, and why he would be a great ambassador for your franchise, this was his tweet AFTER going undrafted:
Congrats to the 2013 draft class salute !! I will continue to work , hold my head high and push forward! Definitely not the end of the road.— Myck Kabongo (@MyckK9) June 28, 2013
Very good kid. Still has a bright future despite systematic disadvantages. How many 21 year olds who go through such a crushing personal disappointment respond in this way? Totally would help any team that is smart enough to give him a chance. Well, he knows a lot of people and he is going to get exactly that chance with the two time NBA Champions, the Miami Heat. The Heat are an org that has All-Star / future HOF vets on the roster, and looking for cheap talent. He's going to start off on their summer league team. They play younger guys, and have a smart coaching staff. He's not a traditional Heat PG as he's not a spot up jump shooting three point bomber -- but with this group he will be pushed to develop that one weakness of his game.
If we put so much stock into how much Al Jefferson helped train and develop Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter so much that they didn't need to get into games . . . one could imagine how being around LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Ray Allen will help a ball handler / perimeter guy.
Anyway, I hope he works hard. I felt like he could be a rotation guy in the league, and I'm very happy that we have a potential point guard of the future in Trey Burke instead. Win-win.
Last, but not least, is Mo Williams. He's come out to say that he wants to remain being a starter on whatever team he signs with as a Free Agent. I think he's done with being off-the ball (like he was with the LA Clippers), or off the bench (Clippers again). He's a good player still, he has his flaws, but I still like him. I wouldn't be against him coming back to the Jazz at the right price. However, if his role is going to be a problem then it could be a problem. Trey Burke isn't a 19 year old player from Europe, he's was not a one-and-done NCAA player either. He can play, and should play, now.
And he's going to need a mentor. That's either going to be Mo Williams, Earl Watson, or Jamaal Tinsley if we are trying to build continuity from last season. Which of the dudes who handled the ball for us (under the height of 6'6) do we bring back to help Trey out?