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Utah Jazz: Summer was a season of change

Published: Sunday, Sept. 29 2013 8:24 a.m. MDT

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Remember the old days, Jazz fans, when you cheered for Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Earl Watson, DeMarre Carroll and Jamaal Tinsley? You can still cheer for them, but they’ll be wearing uniforms of teams like the Hawks, Bobcats and Trail Blazers.

In a loud and clear sign that the Jazz are officially in rebuild mode, the organization didn’t re-sign one of its free agents from the 2012-13 season. Everybody but Tinsley quickly found a new NBA home, too.

That outgoing group, by the way, included four of the five leading scorers from last season, the team’s three captains and 59 combined years of NBA experience.

A sign the Jazz are willing to tank away the 2013-14 season so they can get one of the prized draft picks next June?

Utah is willing to admit that the moves will give their Junior Jazz members much more time to play, but they’re still claiming that winning is the main priority and perhaps even possible with the new crew.

"The Utah Jazz, as you know the history, we're never going to cede anything," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "We're going to compete to the best of our ability."

Then again, he also stated that building a defensive foundation and developing talent might trump win-loss records this season, too.

"Difficult decisions need to be made," Lindsey said. "I saw it as a dilemma where we really had several good options as far as signing guys back or going with a youth movement."

Ready for a starting lineup of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Trey Burke? It could happen.

Here’s the ball, young’uns. Have at it.

"We really appreciate the patience and the trust that Alec and Gordon and Enes and Derrick have shown thus far, but they're ambitious and competitive," Lindsey said. "They wanted more opportunity, and here it is."
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Tators
Hyrum, UT

Sometimes an organization has to take one step back in order to then take two (or maybe even three) steps forward. I'm actually quite excited for this experiment and for the longer term plan now in process... and whole-heartedly support it. Bigger dividends down the road trumps a smaller payout now. Patience fellow fans. Please proceed!

DRay
Roy, UT

Thanks for the article, timeline. Football still King now, but I'll definitely be interested in any news of development the Jazz may bring starting Tuesday. It appears the team is putting a lot of trust in the newly hired leaders, in their plans to get better. For many of us its just a wait and see thing, as all the other NBA teams also work to improve and move up in the standings.

SWWeatherGuy
South Weber, UT

I am going to miss a few of the outgoing "vets" and especially Horny but I don't know if I've ever been as excited for a season to begin. Win or lose, the Jazz win and there should be some exciting, youthful play this year. Follow this season up with great anticipation and high expectation for next year's draft and free-agent market-- the Jazz are at the doorstep of great times!

Captain L
Provo, UT

Very excited to see how much improvement the core youngsters show , I feel Kanter, Favors and Hayward should show they can be almost All Star or close to it in talent , it may take some time but as long as they compete and improve I'll be able to handle the losses. If they can be as good as we think they can be they should win more than a lot of people think. With this draft being as talented as it appears to be , I would be fine with finishing in the bottom 5 or so but on the other hand that would probably mean the core 5 youngsters weren't improving much and I don't want them to accept losing, I hope they improve enough to be able to compete with most of the teams in the league, even if they end up losing close games. It's time to get playing. Go Jazz

bigv56
Cottonwood, CA

Gee ,I can't understand why everyone hates Isaiah Thomas. Good player,horrific gm and coach.

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