After nine seasons with the Utah Jazz and 25 years in the NBA, Dennis Lindsey has decided to step down as executive vice president of basketball operations. He will transition into a role as an advisor to the Utah Jazz. Justin Zanik, who was named general manager in 2019, will continue in his role overseeing the day-to-day management of Jazz basketball operations.
It’s unclear exactly how Utah’s front office will operate. Former Celtics president Danny Ainge, previously linked to the Jazz, could be involved.
Tony Jones of The Athletic:
League Sources: Danny Ainge is in play, but if he comes into the front office, it won't be to lead the front office. Justin Zanik is the guy
— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 28, 2021
Zanik once appeared in line to become the Bucks’ general manager, though Milwaukee went another direction. Since returning to Utah, he has interviewed with the 76ers and Bulls.
Whoever assumes control, the Jazz – with an already-high payroll – must handle Mike Conley‘s unrestricted free agency this summer.
Under Lindsey, Utah has made the playoffs the last five seasons and won a series three of those years. That certainly wasn’t expected when star Gordon Hayward left in 2017 free agency.
Lindsey did well to acquire and empower Gobert (No. 27 pick in 2013) and Mitchell (No. 13 pick in 2017). Hiring Quin Snyder as coach also reflects well on Lindsey.
However, earlier this year, former Jazz player Elijah Millsap accused Lindsey of making a racist statement in 2015. An investigation didn’t substantiate Millsap’s claim, though just left an unfortunate unresolved limbo.