Dennis Lindsey

Northwest Notes: Melo, Jazz, Booth, Thunder

Trail Blazers small forward Carmelo Anthony is looking forward to a return to his original small forward position now that the team’s starting power forward Zach Collins has returned to health, per Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com.

“I’m actually very comfortable at that, I’ve been doing that my whole life,” Anthony said during a Zoom conversation yesterday. “Over the last couple years is where I started moving, transitioning toward playing the four more. You’ve got teams going small, so that was to my advantage as well.”

Anthony, a 10-time All-Star with the Nuggets and Knicks, has averaged 15.3 PPG (while shooting 37.1% from long range and 84.3% from the charity stripe), 6.3 RPG and 1.6 APG for the Blazers. The 36-year-old was inked to the club as an injury replacement for Collins in November. Portland’s 29-37 record slots the team in as the No. 9 seed in the West.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz touched down in the NBA’s Orlando restart campus last night. Team general manager Justin Zanik indicated in a Zoom conversation today between himself, executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey and reporters that the club has not experienced any positive coronavirus tests since mandatory team testing began last month,  according to Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News. Zanik traveled with the team to Orlando, while Lindsey stayed in Utah.
  • New Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth is contemplating innovative approaches to remote scouting during the current pandemic, according to Alex Labidou of Nuggets.com“All we’re trying to do is look for where inefficiencies are, where you can get value,” Booth said. “Even though as the years go on and as people get more and more interested in [scouting in] Europe and they are putting more resources into it, it’s still a landscape where you can find a gem.”
  • Sixteen of 17 Thunder players are traveling to Orlando for the NBA’s Orlando season restart, as Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder details. In case you missed it, forward Isaiah Roby had surgery on his right plantar fascia and will miss the rest of the 2019/20 season.

Northwest Notes: Hood, Millsap, Zanik, Jazz

An MRI on Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood‘s left knee showed no structural damage and he’ll be listed as day-to-day for the Western Conference Finals, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Hood suffered a bone bruise when he ran into a pick set by the Nuggets’ Torrey Craig during Portland’s Game 7 victory on Sunday. Hood, who enters unrestricted free agency this summer, was a major factor off the bench in the series against the Nuggets. He averaged 14.7 PPG in the conference semifinals.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Veteran forward Paul Millsap is intent on helping a team win a championship, whether it’s the Nuggets or another contending franchise, as he told Mike Singer of the Denver Post. The team holds a $30MM option on Millsap’s contract for next season. “We’ve proved everybody wrong,” the 34-year-old Millsap said. “For me, not really trying to prove everybody wrong, but prove to myself that I can do it my way and still win. I can do it with whoever I want to do it with. It ain’t got to be the Golden State Warriors of the Lakers or whatever. I can help a young, talented team reach that goal.”
  • New Jazz GM Justin Zanik believes that continuity within the organization will get it to the next level, as he told Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News. Zanik was promoted from assistant GM last week. “We have a very experienced front office and we know what we need to do,” he said, “so however we get that done, we’re going to do it together and continue to just keep pushing forward with the Jazz to keep us on this championship-competitive path.”
  • Zanik’s promotion, as well as the elevation of Dennis Lindsey to executive VP of basketball operations, doesn’t mean big changes are on the way, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune writes.

Jazz Rework Front Office, Promote Lindsey, Zanik

1:50pm: The Jazz have officially confirmed Lindsey’s and Zanik’s promotions.

1:36pm: The Jazz are making some changes to their front office structure, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that longtime general manager Dennis Lindsey will be promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations. An official announcement is expected from the team as soon as Friday.

With Lindsey vacating the general manager job, assistant GM Justin Zanik will be elevated to that position, per Wojnarowski.

While Lindsey had already been the team’s de facto head of basketball operations, it’s becoming increasingly common for NBA teams to assign a title besides general manager to that top executive. Zanik, Utah’s new GM, will now be responsible for day-to-day duties and running basketball operations, while Lindsey will assume a “broader, strategic and leadership role,” sources tell Woj.

Based on Wojnarowski’s report, it’s not clear if the Jazz will add any new executives to the front office or promote anyone to fill Zanik’s assistant GM role. However, the promotions may help Utah keep its management group in place going forward — Zanik has been considered for other top front office jobs around the NBA before, but might be less inclined to leave the Jazz after being promoted to GM.

Woj’s Latest: Cavaliers, Clippers, Kings, Jazz

In his latest piece for ESPN.com, Adrian Wojnarowski goes into extensive detail on the deadline deals completed last week by the Cavaliers, and offers some fascinating tidbits on how those trades got done, and one potential blockbuster that didn’t get done. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • Before making his series of trades, Cavaliers GM Koby Altman got an elusive face-to-face sitdown with LeBron James to let his star player know what he was working on. Altman later met with LeBron again to tell him that the trades for Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, George Hill, and Rodney Hood were complete, and to ask for his blessing on the deal that sent Dwyane Wade to Miami, says Wojnarowski.
  • Altman had received ownership approval to trade Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, and the Cavs’ own 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan, according to Wojnarowski. Los Angeles was on board with the deal, but wanted to find a third team to take Shumpert and to give the Clips a center, since they didn’t want another shooting guard. Altman and Clippers GM Michael Winger weren’t able to find that third team, and since L.A. was unwilling to take on Shumpert (or Tristan Thompson or J.R. Smith) and the Cavs had some reservations about extending Jordan’s contract in the offseason, the deal ultimately fell through.
  • The three-way trade between the Cavaliers, Kings, and Jazz nearly fell apart on deadline day when Sacramento insisted that Georgios Papagiannis be included in the deal. According to Woj, Cleveland and Utah were “adamant” that Papagiannis had never been discussed, but Kings assistant GM Brandon Williams insists that his notes confirm that either Papagiannis or Malachi Richardson would be included.
  • As an aside, Wojnarowski writes that Williams was handling negotiations because GM Vlade Divac “seldom gets on the phone for the trade-building parts,” even though any Kings trade requires his approval, along with the approval of owner Vivek Ranadive.
  • The Cavaliers were very much against Papagiannis’ inclusion in the trade, since taking on his $2.3MM cap hit would have cost the club significantly more than that in tax payments. Utah also had no interest in acquiring the former lottery pick, with Wojnarowski suggesting that Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey was “livid” about the insertion of Papagiannis and was ready to call off the trade. As for the Kings, they were hoping to move 2016’s 13th overall pick to avoid the embarrassment of waiving him themselves, says Woj.
  • Eventually, Altman was able to work out a solution and talked Lindsey into it, per Wojnarowski. Papagiannis’ rest-of-season salary for this year and his guaranteed salary for 2018/19 totaled $3.2MM, and the Cavaliers were willing to pay that amount to Sacramento, but Cleveland was limited to sending out $2.1MM for the rest of this league year. Altman convinced the Jazz to send the Kings the remaining $1.1MM, with Lindsey getting a little something out of the deal: the ability to swap 2024 second-round picks with the Cavs. The Kings, having been compensated for Papagiannis’ remaining salary, simply waived him rather than insisting he be a part of the trade.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Vivant Arena, Nuggets

Tyrell Corbin, son of former Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, was among the participants in Utah’s free agent mini-camp this week, writes Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. It’s the fourth year for the camp, which GM Dennis Lindsey brought to the Jazz after experiencing similar sessions when he worked for the Spurs and Rockets. Thirteen players from the last three free agent mini-camps have either landed spots on an NBA roster or earned invitations to training camp. “It’s a chance for them to play in front of an NBA coaching staff and for us to get a look at them,” said Jazz director of pro player personnel David Friedman. “Last year, we had a kid by the name of Jonathon Simmons [in camp] just to give you an idea. He didn’t end up with us, but he ended up with the Spurs.”

The camp has an extra dimension this year because Utah has its own D-League team and will be looking for players to fill the roster. Along with Corbin, other prominent names at this week’s event included Preston Medlin, Spencer ButterfieldDionte Christmas and Julian MavungaGreg Stiemsma, who has played for four NBA teams, was also in attendance, along with Argentinian prospect Nicolas Brussino.

There’s more news from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz hosted a workout this morning, Genessy notes in the same piece. Attending were LSU’s Tim Quarterman, California-Santa Barbara’s Michael Bryson, Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin, Texas’ Isaiah Taylor, Oral Roberts’ Obi Emegano and French prospect Mathias Lessort.
  • Utah is planning a $125MM renovation project at Vivant Arena, Genessy writes in a separate story. Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment will cover $102.3MM, and the franchise is hoping for $22.7MM from Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency. The Jazz will submit their proposal to the agency this week.
  • Washington’s Dejounte Murray will have a private workout with the Nuggets Monday afternoon, the team announced in a press release. The 6’5″ point guard has been rising on draft boards and is listed ninth on the latest list of 100 best prospects compiled by ESPN’s Chad Ford. Denver will hold a Monday morning workout for Bryson, Joe De Ciman of Colorado State, Patrick McCaw of Nevada-Las Vegas, Egidijus Mockevicius of Evansville, Abdel Nader of Iowa State and Chinanu Onuaku of Louisville.
  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is joining the effort to keep Kevin Durant with the Thunder, according to The Tulsa World. She is willing to offer the free agent forward a government job to get him to stay with Oklahoma City. “Oklahoma loves Kevin Durant and Kevin Durant loves Oklahoma,” Fallin said. “But if he’ll stay, I’ll make him a Cabinet person for health and fitness.”

Jazz Rumors: Mack, Exum, Lindsey, Booker

Shelvin Mack became Utah’s starting point guard immediately after being acquired from Atlanta in February, but there’s no certainly no guarantee he’ll keep that role next season, writes Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Mack helped keep the Jazz in the playoff race until the final day of the season by averaging 12.7 points and 5.3 assists per game after the trade. But if Dante Exum recovers as expected from a torn ACL in his left knee, Mack will likely head back to the bench. “It’s not something that I’ve thought that much about,” he said. “I know that Dante’s a great player and the organization has a lot invested in him. I’m ready to compete, but I have to control the things I can control. I want to put myself in the best position I can be to help the team win.” Jones expects Utah to guarantee Mack’s salary, worth more than $2.4MM, for next season. It’s non-guaranteed but becomes fully guaranteed if he doesn’t hit waivers by the end of July 7th.

There’s more news on the Jazz:

  • Exum has started sprinting and is expected to be cleared for contact in June, tweets Jody Genessy of The Deseret News, but he will not be part of Utah’s summer league team. Exum will talk to Jazz officials before considering whether to represent Australia in the Summer Olympics. “I wouldn’t do that unless I’m 100% [healthy] and confident in myself,” he said. (Twitter link).
  • Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey tried to deal a draft pick for veteran help before February’s trade deadline, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Lindsey said he accepted two trade offers, but both deals fell through. “If there’s one criticism you could make that’s fair,” he said, “is that we erred toward chemistry, continuity and continued development (Twitter link).” Lindsey would still be willing to swap draft picks for veterans, Jones relays (Twitter link).
  • Trevor Booker may not be in Utah’s future plans, Jones tweets. The 28-year-old power forward, who collected $4.775MM this season in the final year of his contract, prefers to remain with the Jazz, Genessy tweets. “I would definitely love to stay,” he said. “I know it’s a business. I’m not sure it’s going to happen.”

Northwest Notes: Sampson, Augustin, Hood

JaKarr Sampson is surprised about how easily he’s fit in with the Nuggets since joining the team last month, as Nicki Jhabvala and Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post relay. Sampson signed a two-year deal following a snafu that caused the Sixers to lose him, and he’s filled in as a starter for the injured Danilo Gallinari. Sampson is dealing with a strained right shoulder himself, but he played through it Wednesday, and his time in Denver has been smooth thus far. “The transition has been easy,” Sampson said. “My teammates have made it easy for me and coach [Michael Malone] has made it easy for me. So, it hasn’t been hard, the transition — new sets, new teammates. I love my teammates. We’ve got a great staff here. Everything has been easy for me.”

See more from Denver amid news from the Northwest Division:

  • D.J. Augustin, who says he’d love to re-sign with the Nuggets this summer, has made a strong impression in his brief time with Denver since coming over via trade last month, observes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post“D.J.’s our security blanket,” Malone said. “He’s won games for us. Put the ball into his hands in the fourth quarter and he steps up, makes shots, hits free throws and always makes the right play.”
  • Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey is excited about Rodney Hood‘s room for continued growth, notes Kareem Copeland of The Associated Press, and the team is proving wise for having selected him 23rd overall in 2014, Copeland argues. “What we saw was a guy that was somewhat sophisticated with the ball and with his reads,” Lindsey said. “It was relatively evident fairly quick that he’d be a nice fit for us. It’s to the kid’s credit that he’s gotten better since this time last year.”
  • The Thunder have focused too much on adding scoring punch around Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and not enough on finding role players, argues Christopher Reina of RealGM. That plus their reliance on traditional big men threatens to leave the franchise in a compromising position, unable to win a title despite the presence of two elite players, Reina writes.

Northwest Notes: Hayward, Durant, Plumlee, Davis

The Jazz are “poking around” the market for a point guard, several league sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. It’s not entirely clear if such efforts are related to the team’s reported 10-day deal with Erick Green, though it would seem given the timing of that agreement, so soon after Raul Neto suffered a concussion Monday, that the team had already been looking. The Heat reportedly rebuffed Utah when it tried to engage them in Mario Chalmers trade talks over the offseason, but the Jazz’s interest in Chalmers was minimal, according to Lowe. The ESPN scribe speculates about other options, including Jrue Holiday, whose leg issues leave teams “petrified” and whom the Pelicans are reluctant to deal, anyway, Lowe reports. Lowe also believes Jeff Teague would be a fit for Utah, but reports that the Hawks have had “major trust issues” with backup Dennis Schröder and are focused on contending this season. In any case, the Jazz appear reluctant to pilfer from their store of future picks, which includes the Warriors unprotected 2017 first-rounder as the relative cost of rookie scale contracts becomes cheaper amid the rapid salary cap escalation, Lowe writes.

“Picks are that much more valuable,” GM Dennis Lindsey said to Lowe.

See more from Utah:

  • The impending financial realities threaten the core of the Jazz, as Lowe details in the same piece, and Gordon Hayward, who can opt out after next season, acknowledged to Lowe that they cast a shadow on his future. “I’m constantly thinking about that,” Hayward said. “Contracts are so short now. A lot of our guys are on their rookie deals, and they’ll come up for extensions. It all might determine whether or not I stay in Utah.”
  • The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater examines the surprising lack of legitimate rumors about Kevin Durant‘s impending free agency, writing that the idea of the Thunder star signing a deal that would allow him to opt out after just one season “has gained traction.” It’s not clear whether that idea is growing on Durant himself or if more people are simply realizing that it would likely represent the most lucrative path for the former MVP. That would allow him to take advantage of a projected $108MM cap for the summer of 2017 and a higher maximum-salary tier, since he’d be a 10-year veteran.
  • The playmaking ability of Trail Blazers offseason acquisitions Mason Plumlee and Ed Davis has helped alleviate the pressure from incumbent guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, as Mike Richman of The Oregonian examines. Plumlee will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason.

Draft History: Dennis Lindsey

The 2015 NBA draft is less than two months away, and for teams that aren’t still participating in the NBA playoffs, the focus is on using that event to build toward a better future. The exact draft order won’t be known until the May 19th lottery, when the simple bounce of a ping-pong ball can alter the fate of a franchise. Of course, having one of the top selections in any draft doesn’t guarantee that a team will snag a future All-Star. Team executives and scouts still have the difficult task of making the correct call with their picks.

With this in mind we at Hoops Rumors will be taking a look back at the draft history of the primary basketball executive for each NBA team. Their names, reputations, and possibly employment will be on the line as a result of the decisions to come on June 25th, and we’ll be examining what they’ve done in previous years in charge of a club’s front office. Note that many of them have played other sorts of roles within a team’s executive structure, but this won’t take that into account. We’ll continue onward with a look back at the calls made by Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey

Jazz (August 2012-Present)

2013 Draft

  • No. 9 Overall — Trey Burke *: 146 games, 12.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 5.0 APG. .374/.324/.818.
  • No. 27 Overall — Rudy Gobert **: 127 games, 6.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.8 BPG..587/.000/.598.

Notable players passed over: Michael Carter-Williams (No. 11) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 15).

*Traded picks No. 14 (Shabazz Muhammad) and No. 21 (Gorgui Dieng) to the Timberwolves for the rights to Burke.

**Traded No. 46 overall pick (Erick Green) and cash to Jazz for rights to Gobert.

2014 Draft

  • No. 5 Overall — Dante Exum: 82 games, 4.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 2.4 APG. .349/.314/.625.
  • No. 23 Overall — Rodney Hood: 50 games, 8.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG. .414/.365/.763.

Notable players passed over: Elfrid Payton (No. 10), K.J. McDaniels (No. 32) and Jordan Clarkson (No. 46).

*Traded No. 35 overall pick (Jarnell Stokes) to Grizzlies for a 2016 second-rounder.

And-Ones: Bhamara, Jazz, Brooks

Satnam Singh Bhamara, a 7’1” 290-pound player from India, is considering declaring for the 2015 NBA Draft, Pete Thamel of SI.com writes. While the 19-year-old is unlikely to be selected this June, Bhamara is considered India’s best chance for producing its first NBA player, Thamel notes. Sim Bhullar became the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA this past season, but Bhullar was born in Canada.

Bhamara will be represented by both Relativity Sports and WME/IMG, and his advisers felt the best course of action for the player would be to develop and refine his skills instead of attending a junior college, the SI scribe adds. “I do think he’ll end up in the NBA because I’ve seen his progress over the last four years,” said IMG Director of Basketball Kenny Natt. “I’ve been in the league and know how guys like Satnam are looked upon. He has size, strength and touch. He has good hands and can run the floor. Those are the types of things that NBA teams value.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey‘s moves have resulted in Utah notching a record of 19-10 after the All-Star break, and the team being on the rise heading into the 2015/16 season, Doug Robinson of The Deseret News writes. Robinson points to the hiring of coach Quin Snyder, the selection of Dante Exum in the 2014 NBA draft, and matching the Hornets’ offer sheet to Gordon Hayward last summer as some of Lindsey’s recent successes.
  • History is not on Thunder coach Scott Brooks‘ side in regards to retaining his job, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes. Tramel points to a number of instances where long-tenured coaches were replaced mainly to provide a new voice for the players, and the teams experiencing an uptick in performance as a result.
  • The Knicks‘ difficult season at least allowed Carmelo Anthony to have surgery without impacting his team’s postseason chances, a luxury ‘Melo wouldn’t have had if he signed with a different franchise last summer, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “It was at a point if this was any other team he had to gone to, then they’d be taking away a lot of playoff hopes,’’ team president Phil Jackson said. “In our situation it was something he could do and we could accept it and move forward because next year was a real important year for him to come back and play at the highest level he can play at.’’