We told you today that Jazz general manager Kevin O’Conner was moving on up, taking on a more presidential position within the Utah Jazz organization. Oh, he’ll still be involved in decision making and planning I Utah, but he was weary of doing the day-to-day grind work of a general manager.
Enter the Spurs Dennis Lindsey. Apparently.
That according to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo.
Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor, one of the NBA’s most respected GMs, is moving into a top executive position with the franchise and San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey is finalizing a deal to replace him, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
As I said before, don’t expect this to really change things in how the Jazz operate. O’Conner will still have his finger prints all over player moves, it’s just that Lindsey will help set them up (O’Conner could have hired another assistant GM and kept his title, but nobody would have jumped at a lateral job move).
But it looks like there are some new names in Salt Lake City.
Mehmet Okur hasn’t really been part of the Jazz this season, having played just 13 games for them and having missed the last 22 due to a back injury.
The team has now officially shut him down for the rest of the season.
“His efforts and determination to return from his combined left Achilles’ surgery and back issues may have put undue stress on his body,” said Jazz General Manager Kevin O’Connor in a released statement. “We feel that a concentrated effort to return his back and Achilles’ conditions to acceptable levels is our main concern. Mehmet is expected to be at full speed for the start of the 2011-12 Jazz training camp.”
Okur missed the start of the season (and the FIBA World Championships in his native Turkey) after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the first game of the playoffs last season. He returned in December and played 13 games before his back became too painful to continue.
If the Denver Nuggets front office had gotten their wishes — if they could have traded Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Favors and picks rather than to New York — then Deron Williams would be a Knick today.
In one of the infinite alternate universes that is the reality, but in this one just consider the story Sam Amick tells at NBA Confidential a fun postscript on the Melodrama.
As (Jazz GM Kevin) O’Connor told (Knicks president Donnie) Walsh approximately an hour before the game and would later repeat in an interview with NBA Confidential, he targeted the Nets’ and Knicks’ assets and decided to play the waiting game. Somebody would lose in the Anthony sweepstakes, and that team would immediately hear from O’Connor to discuss a marvelous Plan B….
While Walsh is certainly thrilled to land Anthony, he admitted the notion of landing Williams would have been appealing had he known he was on the market. Asked if things might have turned out differently if he was privy to that information, Walsh said with a shrug when asked by NBA Confidential, “it might have.”
O’Conner said the very public way the Nuggets went about this process was part of what allowed him to track what was and was not available when he would call.
Knicks fans love what they have with Anthony, but would Williams have been a better fit with Amar’e Stoudemire and in the Mike D’Antoni offense?
We’ll never know. Consider it a bit of fan fiction if you want.
Go read the story, which has a lengthy Q&A with O’Conner that includes some thoughts about where the Jazz go from here.