Kevin O’Connor Denies He’s Stepping Down

11:07am: Jazz president Randy Rigby has released a statement on the issue, refuting the report that O'Connor is stepping down from his current role:

"Media reports of Kevin O’Connor’s departure are inaccurate and he is not stepping down. He is fully engaged in Jazz preparations for draft season. The working relationship between Kevin and Dennis Lindsey is unchanged as both individuals provide valuable expertise, knowledge and perspective toward building a championship-caliber team. Kevin will be a member of the Jazz family for a long time. No further comment is needed."

10:05am: Jazz CEO Greg Miller tweets that O'Connor is not stepping down as executive VP of basketball operations.

8:36am: A KUTV report out of Utah last night suggested that Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor will be stepping down from his current front office role to transition into a consulting role with the team. However, asked if he was stepping down, O'Connor told Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune, "Not true, and I have no comment."

Despite O'Connor's denial, we probably shouldn't dismiss the story entirely quite yet. As Oram notes (via Twitter), he asked O'Connor about stepping down, rather than moving to a consultant position, so the former Jazz general manager could be denying one but not the other. Oram and Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune both point out (Twitter links) that O'Connor hired Dennis Lindsey as Utah's new GM last summer with the intention of Lindsey eventually becoming the head of basketball operations. Change at some point in the not-so-distant future is inevitable, Luhm suggests.

Luhm also confirms KUTV's report that O'Connor sold his house in Holladay, Utah on April 17th, the same day the Jazz's season ended when they were eliminated from playoff contention by the Grizzlies. While that could be a further sign that O'Connor will assume a reduced role from his home in North Carolina, as KUTV reported, for now it appears nothing is official.

The Jazz are entering a crucial offseason, with many of the team's key veterans, including Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and Mo Williams, facing free agency. Armed with a pair of first round picks and plenty of potential cap space, whoever is running the team's basketball operations this summer will have plenty of work to do.

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