Utah Jazz: GM Dennis Lindsey believes flexibility will help franchise's future success
Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The ups and downs — and places in between — that the Utah Jazz have experienced this season might be hard to handle for fans at times.
With up to 10 free agents to be, the uncertainty past this year is also unsettling for some faithful.
Even with unsteady results and the unknown, Jazz management envisions a bright future outshining occasional bleak moments as the team forges forward.
"I'm every optimistic about the future of the Utah Jazz for this reason — we have a quality organization led by the Millers," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "And our fundamentals around the organization are very strong."
Whatever happens at next Thursday's trade deadline — even if it's nothing happening — the Jazz like where they are positioned.
Though they've been erratic en route to a 28-24 record, Utah remains in a playoff spot. The Jazz are in seventh place in the Western Conference heading into tonight's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
They have four young lottery players in Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks who have each shown glimpses of goodness to greatness when they've been on the court.
And they have options.
Lots and lots of options.
With the upcoming changes in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement — and the fact teams will be punished severely for being over the luxury tax threshold — the Jazz will have a lot of salary-cap room to make personnel moves in order to complement the young players who have been dubbed the "Core Four."
Lindsey, during an interview with reporters Monday, lauded his predecessor, Kevin O'Connor, Jazz president Randy Rigby, Bob Hyde, the team's CFO, and the Miller family for getting "out in front of the Deron Williams decision" by making the trade two years ago this week and opening up those options to construct a championship-caliber club.
"We have the foundation in place and a lot of flexibility to allow us to make decisions in going in whatever direction we want," Lindsey said. "If this team catches a great rhythm and advances in the playoffs, we can invest in that. If the team doesn't meet expectations, our internal expectations, we can readjust the team in a lot of different ways.
"I'm optimistic about the people that we have and the flexibility that we have in place."
Not surprisingly, Lindsey didn't comment on specifics regarding the Jazz's current level of involvement in trade talks, other than to admit that comes with the territory of his job.
Because of their upcoming cap situation and impending free agency of Millsap and Jefferson, the Jazz have popped up in numerous trade rumors so far.
"Normal course of business. I wouldn’t characterize it as saying anymore or any less busy. We have a job to do. We can't hide from that. Kevin and I have to listen and survey," Lindsey said. "Our overriding point is we want to be very disciplined to the threshold that's been built, the flexibility that's been built.
"We want to be very strategic (about) who we add. Is there a value add? This is now, draft, free agency. Do they fit the character of our playing group and our organization?"
When it's time to decide, Jazz decision-makers sit down together, make lists of negatives and positives, and banter back and forth to reach a verdict.
"That decision-making process is complicated," he said. "We try to reduce it and simplify it the best we can."
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