The Utah Jazz have been unusually active during the 2012 draft and free agency period. They swapped a trade exception to get Mo Williams, drafted Tennessee Tech's Kevin Murphy and traded Devin Harris to get Marvin Williams. Deseret News columnist Brad Rock talked with Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, this week, as they discussed the Jazz's changing look.
Q: On your team, virtually top to bottom, guys play more than one position. Is that by design?
A: "I think the league has become a little bit more like that. The rule changes have necessitated that ... so now versatility has become more of a factor. I think it really goes back to the rules."
Q: Ty (Corbin) has said he wanted to initiate other teams having to adjust to you, as opposed to the other way. what's your take on that?
A: "That's a coaching thing and ... small ball, big ball, that kind of stuff. That's the way it is today. You get all of the numbers and all of the graphs and all of the who plays what, and the five players play everything, you know, a lot of it comes down to gut, too. Who should be in the game at a certain time and who you feel comfortable with. And that's what makes good coaches. And I think Ty did a great job with that this year by being that kind of coach."
Q: What does Mo give you that you need?
A: "I think one of the things that he's not saying to you is that one of the things that really helps his position where he plays is that point guards have been more scorers. Especially the fact that you can't put your hands on them anymore. Used to be in the NBA guys would hit half-court and guys would start wrestling with them a little bit. Now you really have a hands-off kind of league on the perimeter, and I think that's been the right call and you've got to get guys that can score. He (Williams) shoots the ball very well."
Q: What does it mean to have him back?
A: "I think as you look through things, I can still remember making a phone call to him when we drafted him and we had him a lot higher on the draft board than they did. I said, 'Come with a chip on your shoulder. You're a 47th pick and we don't play contracts, we play players,' and he said, 'Believe me, I will.' And he did that."
Q: How have things changed since Mo Williams was here last time?
A: "You get a little bit nostalgic. You sit there and you look and he's got four kids and one on the way; I remember picking him up at the airport with a suitcase."