Jazz Front Office Positioned Team To Take Over Warriors Dynasty

Jul 2, 2019, 2:55 PM | Updated: 3:39 pm
Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Indiana Pacersis defended by Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies a...
Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Indiana Pacersis defended by Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on October 17, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Credit should be given where it is due for the Utah Jazz suddenly being a Western Conference Champion contender. Matt Baiamonte and Jeremiah Jensen of KSL Sports think the credit belongs to Justin Zanik, General Manager of the Utah Jazz.

From the patience of the Mike Conley trade, landing Bojan Bogdanovic and the moves Jensen called “shrewd” made by the Jazz in the second round of the NBA Draft the front office has positioned the team as a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.

National NBA Media are predicting the Jazz will contend for the Western Conference Title.

The Jazz front office has been criticized in the past for not being aggressive enough, but not anymore, pointed out Jensen during a discussion on KSL’s UnRivaled.

“Today you can not say the Jazz didn’t swing for the fences,” said Baiamonte.

Taking Over The West

“Eventually we knew the Warrior’s dynasty was going to come to an end … the Jazz have put themselves in a position to be that team,” said Jensen.

Fans can thank the team’s front office and Justin Zanik for putting the team in a place to win this offseason, according to Baiamonte and Jensen.

“You’ve got to be STOKED if you are a jazz fan,” Baiamonte concluded.

The Cost: Fan Favorites

The Jazz front office was forced to let go of fan favorite players in order to put together a championship contending team. Fans were forced to say goodbye to Jae Crowder, Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio this offseason.

Crowder was part of the Conley trade along with Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver and draft picks.

Rubio entered free agency and signed with the Phoenix Suns.

Perhaps the loss that hit some fans the hardest was saying goodbye to veteran forward Derrick Favors in a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for draft picks.

The Jazz were forced to waive Raul Neto in order to free up salary space for the Conley trade.


The Benefit: Impressive Starting Five

The most obvious asset Zanik helped land for the team comes in Conley who averaged a career high of 21.1 points per game last season. He also posted 3.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists, while shooting 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from downtown in 70 games with the Grizzlies.

Baiamonte pointed out it is not only the trade that Zanik should be commended for but the timing of the trade. Rumors floated around back before the trade deadline but because of the organization’s patience, they were able to get Conley later, for a cheaper price and retain Dante Exum.

Signing Bogdanovic was another good move by the front office Jensen and Baiamonte discussed. The Bosnian native averaged 18 points per game and 4.1 rebounds – both career highs.

The moves the team made in the second round of the NBA Draft may not be highlighted as much as the Conley trade, but Jensen said Zanik deserves credit here for being “shrewd and aggressive.”

Listen to the full discussion on KSL’s UnRivaled below. Tune into UnRivaled weeknights from 7 pm-9 pm on KSLNewsradio.

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