Jazz GM On Burks, Extension, Roster

The Jazz delivered some tough news Tuesday, announcing that Alec Burks will have left shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season. That the team just two months ago signed Burks to a four-year extension worth $42MM plus incentives makes his absence even tougher to swallow. GM Dennis Lindsey spoke with reporters, including Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune, shortly after making the announcement, and Lindsey let the media in on his thoughts about the extension as well as what comes next for the team. The entire question-and-answer session that Falk shares is worth a look, but we’ll pass along Lindsey’s three most noteworthy comments here:

On whether the team knew about Burks’ shoulder issues when he signed his extension:

“Yeah. We knew because we knew about it during the draft. This is an [injury] that predated Alec and the Utah Jazz. … Really, I think as much as anything, the reason why he was so durable is a credit to Alec, [trainer Gary Briggs and strength coach Mark McKown] and all the pre-hab.”

On whether he’s disappointed that he signed Burks to the extension:

“I don’t think so. Every contract signing and certainly extension signing, our medical staff does a [thorough] review — X-rays, MRIs, physical examinations — and Alec, at that point in time, passed. So no disappointment because we don’t think this is going to impact his long-term playing career, either from a length standpoint or a quality standpoint. So we’re very comfortable with the decision that we made and the knowledge we had at that particular time.”

On whether the absence of Burks will prompt a roster move:

“So we have 15 [players] now. Some are partially guaranteed, some are non-guaranteed, so we do have some flexibility. We’re comfortable with where we’re at. Again, someone’s misfortune is another’s opportunity. Certainly Rodney [Hood] will get a lot of those minutes. We wanted to see Rodney as a two-guard so here’s a little bit of his opportunity. Last night, Dante [Exum] played a lot with Trey [Burke] and Dante’s certainly big enough to [handle] the position as well. And then there are some guys who haven’t received as much opportunity, Ian Clark, Toure’ Murry, Patrick Christopher, that we’ll be able to kick the tires [on] a little bit and take a look at. And as you can imagine, we’ll be evaluating what’s available to us. But frankly, [coach] Quin [Snyder]’s very comfortable with where we’re at and we’ll see how the young guys do.”

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