As a part of the Jazz‘s ownership group, Dwyane Wade views it as one of his responsibilities to improve the experience for players and to narrow the “disconnect” between the people in the locker room and the people running the team, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic writes.
Wade acknowledged that his input into basketball operations decisions is fairly limited for the time being, but he hopes to eventually take on a larger role as he gets more comfortable in his position in the front office.
“My name is probably bigger than the piece I have,” Wade told The Athletic. “As I’m trying to learn this space, I’ll hopefully one day be more involved. But right now I’m sitting back and I’m learning from (general manager) Justin Zanik, I’m learning from (CEO) Danny Ainge, and (team owner) Ryan (Smith) is as well.
“I don’t want that responsibility of trading a guy or signing a guy. That’s not my role. I don’t want anybody thinking that’s my role. My role is to give my perspective if asked. If I feel like, ‘Hey, what are we doing on this and that, these are the players that I see, that I like.’ And things about these players. Just conversations that anybody would have. But I don’t make the decisions. I’m not the decision-maker.”
Here’s more on the Jazz:
- All-Star center Rudy Gobert thought the referees in Monday’s game in Dallas let the Mavericks‘ bench get away with comments that crossed a line, as Sarah Todd of The Deseret News relays. “There were a lot of things being said that wouldn’t be said outside of a basketball court,” Gobert said. “A lot of things that I would never say. I’m not perfect but I don’t say things to guys on the court that I wouldn’t say to their face outside the locker room.” The Jazz and Mavs will play again in Dallas later this month, and could face each other in the postseason — they currently hold the fourth and fifth spots in the West.
- Tony Jones of The Athletic, in considering the Jazz’s long-term future, envisions the team eventually moving Donovan Mitchell to the point guard role on a full-time basis. If and when Mitchell assumes that role, Utah would probably want to complement him with a secondary creator and with a couple long, athletic wings who can shoot, Jones suggests. Mike Conley, the team’s current point guard, is under contract for two more seasons beyond this one, though his 2023/24 salary isn’t fully guaranteed.
- A Louisiana native, Jazz rookie Jared Butler got his first opportunity to play an NBA game in New Orleans last Friday night, logging seven minutes of mop-up time in Utah’s blowout loss to the Pelicans. Speaking to local media, Butler discussed the challenges he has faced this season during a transition period. “This year has been interesting, because it’s brand-new for me,” Butler said, per Rod Walker of NOLA.com. “The coolest thing is I get to learn right now. That’s been a change of pace for me going from playing 30 minutes a night in college to just sitting and learning. So that’s been an adjustment. But there’s also just been the adjustment to the NBA lifestyle.”