The Hayward pick came from a deal with the Knicks. The Jazz would have had a high lottery pick last year until Golden State tanked the final month to keep a protected No. 7 pick (the Jazz will get the Warriors’ pick this year, probably around No. 20). The Jazz also picked up Randy Foye, a former No. 7 pick, this year as a free agent.
“Kevin O’Connor deserves a lot of the credit for his ability to collect first-round picks that have turned into lottery picks,’’ Lindsey said. “So I feel really fortunate to be in the same camp with Kevin relative to his ability to see into the future to bring projections with delayed gratification and staying disciplined to how we need to build.’’
One of the teams closest to the Jazz in terms of young, high lottery picks is Wednesday night’s opponent, New Orleans, which has three under the age of 22 in 19-year-old Anthony Davis, 20-year-old Austin Rivers and 22-year-old Al-Farouq Aminu.
Other teams with three lottery picks under age 22 include Washington (John Wall, Bradley Beal, Jan Vesely), Charlotte (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker, Bismarck Biyombo) and Cleveland (Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson).
The big exception to the lottery picks rule is San Antonio, which currently sports the best record in the league with just one lottery pick. Of course, it happens to be one of the greatest players of all-time in Duncan, who has been the anchor of what has been a top NBA franchise for the past couple of decades.
Lindsey came from San Antonio and he has very nice things to say about his former employer. However, even he admits that the Spurs have found success due to a perfect storm that isn’t likely to be duplicated in the NBA any time soon.
“Everybody talks about the San Antonio model. Well, there is no model,’’ he said. “You line up David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich all together — in my opinion that will not happen again in the NBA. That’s so unique.’’
The Jazz are happy with its 47th picks (Paul Millsap, Mo Williams) as well as its players picked 27th (Jamal Tinsley, DeMarre Carroll). But to contend for a championship in the future, they’ll need to build their team with as many lottery-pick players as possible. With the young players they have, the Jazz future looks bright.
“We’re not a finished product,’’ Lindsey said. “But we want everybody to understand that we know we’re playoff competitive but not championship competitive yet. And we aspire to put ourselves inside the championship competitive group, even if we need to take a real patient approach.’’
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