Utah Jazz: GM Dennis Lindsey believes flexibility will help franchise's future success

Published: Monday, Feb. 11 2013 8:10 p.m. MST

Lindsey also expressed front-office faith in Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan's replacement.

"I'm optimistic that we have a really good leader and good man in Ty Corbin that has been here before and knows what we stand for," Lindsey said.

To that point, the Jazz GM acknowledged that Corbin, 72-74 as a head coach, deserves "quite a bit" of credit for helping the team sustain success even while dealing with injuries to two key players, Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward.

"Look, we all want to be a championship contender right now. But we're striving towards those goals. We're trying to build and maintain a culture, maintain the culture that coach Sloan started and Ty's taken over," Lindsey said. "Maintain a culture that the Laydens (Frank and Scott) started and Kevin took stewardship and now it's been passed along to me in time.

"The best way to keep your culture is to add great people that are very professional and that are passionate about being here. Winning goes along with that."

The Jazz are also in a precarious position in terms of trying to balance developing players for future success versus playing experienced players who might give the squad a better chance of winning now.

Lindsey used the phrase "natural tension" to describe the tricky balance between trying to make a move that'd be best for the current club compared to what's best for the franchise's future.

"There's always natural tension in whatever you do — career-oriented goals, on how you raise your kids, how you build your team, the here and now versus delayed gratification," he said.

Lindsey knows the desire for getting that immediate reward, and Corbin's tendency to play veterans has been derided by some skeptics. (For example, giving Raja Bell in 2011-12 or Randy Foye this year more PT than Alec Burks or Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap more than Favors and Kanter.)

"We understand the public — as we are — is excited about the young guys, but we've got to bring them a long at the appropriate pace," Lindsey said. "I think we're adhering to the history of the organization when we're doing that."

Lindsey cited the fact that John Stockton didn't become a full-time starter until his fourth season as an example of how it can be beneficial for guys to be brought along slowly but surely.

Then again, he knows it isn't an exact science, either.

"If that's not the ultimate example of not too much too soon. What is Derrick averaging minute-wise, 21-22 minutes?" he said. "What's the greater good, giving him 28 or 30? Does he develop better? Or is the greater good giving him a real sense of appreciation that he earned the additional bump in minutes eventually whenever that is? I don't know."

Another unknown — perhaps the biggest variable to the team's future success — is just who exactly will emerge as the team's long-term point guard.

Utah doesn't have one true point guard under contract past this season, and its preferred starter, Mo Williams, won't be back for at least a week depending on how his surgically repaired thumb has healed. (Williams will have a pin removed this Friday, by the way.)

Lindsey spoke in glowing terms of "the professional nature of Mo," who's been out since Dec. 22.

"Mo wanted to be here," he said of the 30-year-old playmaker. "Mo is very motivated to want to be a starting point guard and lead a group and help Ty with the leadership of our group. I think Mo was outstanding."

Lindsey credited Williams for being a "superior shooter" and lauded him for improving his ballhandling and pacing skills with the help of assistant developmental coach Johnnie Bryant.

"Overall," Lindsey said, "we do miss him because he's a good NBA player."

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