Utah Jazz: Looking back at the busy offseason

Published: Saturday, Sept. 29 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

Dennis Lindsey took over as the new Jazz general manager, a move which resulted in Scott Layden leaving Utah to fill the void left by Lindsey's departure in San Antonio.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Just because it's called the offseason doesn't mean the Utah Jazz took the summer off.

Far from it.

Sure, vacations were enjoyed. R&R was soaked up. But quite a bit happened in Jazzland since May, when the team was dispatched from the first round of the NBA playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs.

The traditionally stable franchise experienced more change as it bid farewell and welcomed players, coaches and, most surprisingly, management personnel.

Before training camp begins — Media Day is Monday and practices start in earnest on Tuesday — here's a recap of the Jazz's busy offseason:

JAZZ-SPURS "TRADE": It won't go down as an official trade, per se. But the Jazz and Spurs swapped key employees, with Dennis Lindsey leaving San Antonio for Utah and Scott Layden making a beeline from the Beehive State to the Alamo City.

This movement came about after Kevin O'Connor, the NBA's second-longest tenured general manager, decided to relinquish day-to-day GM duties and focus primarily on his longer-titled job: executive vice president of basketball operations.

With O'Connor stepping down as GM after running the Jazz's show since 1999, the organization gladly raided the Spurs' front office to hire Lindsey, considered one of the bright up-and-coming minds on the NBA's player-personnel scene.

"I've got a new playmate," O'Connor joked.

Lindsey's void in San Antonio was later filled by Layden, who'd toiled as an assistant coach in Utah for seven years after previously holding GM positions with the Jazz and the Knicks.

Layden, who wasn't interviewed by the Jazz to replace O'Connor, will now be top-tier GM R.C. Buford's new playmate.


Two things prevented the Jazz from having a first-round pick. First, they traded their own first-round selection to Minnesota as part of the 2010 Al Jefferson deal. It was lottery-protected, so Utah lost it by making the playoffs.

Secondly, Golden State's second-half tank job prevented Utah from getting the Warriors' top-seven protected pick that the Jazz could've gotten to finish off the 2011 Deron Williams deal. (They can still get a first-round pick from Golden State this season, but it's protected again.)

Utah tried and failed to trade up into the supposedly deep draft, but only ended up with the No. 47 pick: Tennessee Tech shooting guard Kevin Murphy.

Time will tell if Murphy pans out like previous successful No. 47 picks, Paul Millsap and Mo Williams.


Speaking of Mo Williams, he became the latest former Jazz player to return to the fold. The Jazz used part of the $10.8 million traded player exception received from New Jersey for Mehmet Okur last December to participate in a multi-team swap that resulted in the point guard coming back to his original NBA home.

Soon after, the Jazz traded starting point guard Devin Harris to Atlanta in exchange for small forward Marvin Williams, the No. 2 pick of the 2005 draft.

And, no, neither Mo or Marvin Williams will sport No. 8 like that other Williams used to back in the day.


The Jazz made another roster addition in July when they picked up the Clippers' Randy Foye, a guard who gives the squad another player who can defend and shoot.

On top of that, O'Connor joked, "We finally got somebody not named Williams."

For what it's worth, Gordon Hayward put a locker room photo on Twitter that showed Foye will be the new No. 8, a number Josh Howard wore last year.

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