Jazz Notes: Offseason, Gobert, Mitchell, Oturu

As the Jazz mull possible roster upgrades this offseason, they’ll be keeping an eye out for defensive-minded players, executive VP of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey said on Wednesday, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

“Anybody who has defensive integrity at their position, (who) can be an active, athletic defender will be someone that would be of interest to us,” Lindsey said. “Especially if they don’t compromise the spacing.”

While Utah’s roster features a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Rudy Gobert, the team only ranked in the middle of the pack this season in overall defensive rating, and struggled to slow down Jamal Murray and the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • Citing NBA rules, Lindsey declined to get into specifics on Wednesday when asked about possible offseason extensions for Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. However, as Sarah Todd of The Deseret News writes, he insinuated that the Jazz will look to lock up both Gobert and Mitchell long-term, stressing that the franchise is “extremely pleased” with the character of its two All-Stars. “As I’ve mentioned before, we’re working to add players of Rudy and Donovan’s physical talent and competitive makeup and so by definition we’re going to want to keep those type of players moving forward,” Lindsey said.
  • Former University of Minnesota center Daniel Oturu interviewed with the Jazz on Wednesday, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Oturu, the No. 36 prospect on ESPN’s big board, may be an option for Utah at No. 23.
  • While it wasn’t specifically related to the Jazz, Lindsey made another notable comment during his end-of-season presser on Wednesday, contending that the lack of travel this summer improved the quality of NBA games and suggesting that the league should do what it can to reduce travel going forward. “If we ever get to a situation like baseball where you play a team more than one time in the market — obviously, there’s some business concerns there — but that reduced travel, I definitely think the product is more compelling because of that,” Lindsey said. A previous report indicated that the NBA is mulling this idea.
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