Utah Jazz: Scott Layden to interview for Spurs' assistant GM position
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs could pull off an unconventional swap of sorts.
And this particular one wouldn't include any players, draft picks or trade exceptions.
Jazz assistant coach Scott Layden has accepted an invitation by Spurs management to interview for the organization's assistant general manager vacancy, according to a source.
The meeting was scheduled for Monday night with general manager R.C. Buford and head coach Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, the source said. Spurs ownership will not be in attendance.
This San Antonio position opened three weeks ago when the Jazz hired then-Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey to replace Kevin O'Connor as Utah's general manager.
It's unknown if there are other candidates for the Spurs assistant GM position.
Layden, a former general manager with Utah and New York, was not interviewed for the Jazz GM position, which opened up when O'Connor decided to relinquish his general manager duties to focus exclusively on his position as executive vice president of basketball operations.
Layden has a long history with the Jazz, dating back to the 1981-82 season when he was a talent scout and assistant coach under his father, Frank Layden.
Most recently, Layden has been an assistant coach in Utah under Jerry Sloan and Tyrone Corbin since 2005.
In his first extended stint with the Jazz, the younger Layden was credited for helping the franchise discover overlooked mid-first-round Hall-of-Fame gems John Stockton and Karl Malone.
Layden was promoted to be the Jazz's director of player personnel in 1988 after a six-year run as an assistant coach. He became director of basketball operations in 1992 and vice president of basketball operations in 1996.
In 1995, Layden finished second behind the Lakers' Jerry West for The Sporting News' NBA Executive of the Year award after the Jazz's 60-22 season.
After helping assemble back-to-back NBA Finals teams in 1997 and '98, Layden left Utah after his 18-year stay and was hired to be general manager and executive vice president of the New York Knicks.
Layden elevated into the Knicks' president role from 2001-03 before being fired in December 2003. For years, Layden has been the target of Knicks fans' scorn, in part because of his moves to acquire eventual New York disappointments Antonio McDyess and Keith Van Horn.
While in charge of Utah's player personnel moves, however, Layden was responsible for helping the franchise rise to the top of the NBA.
He traded for Jeff Hornacek (now his fellow assistant) and drafted second-round prizes Shandon Anderson and Bryon Russell. Those moves helped give Stockton and Malone firepower needed to advance to the Finals.
Layden also selected Russian teen Andrei Kirilenko in the '99 draft before leaving for New York.
Interestingly, during his introductory press conference in Utah, Lindsey said former Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich told him when he worked with the Rockets that Layden was somebody he'd "consider" hiring to lead that team's player personnel moves if then-GM Carroll Dawson stepped down.
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