Jazz Hire New Coach, Prospect Watch, And Mailbag Answers

Oct 16, 2020, 4:37 PM
Bojan Bogdanovic - Mike Conley - Utah Jazz...
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) congratulated guard Mike Conley (10) on a fourth quarter three pointer. Bogdonovic had 30 points for the night. (Photo by Jeff Wheeler /Star Tribune via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Wheeler /Star Tribune via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s been a busy week for the Utah Jazz. The team added a new coach, began working with the Salt Lake City Police Department, and continued their preparation for November’s NBA draft. That led to lots of questions in this week’s mailbag from our readers.

In the latest episode of the Jazz Notes Podcast, host Ben Anderson looks over the latest news in Jazzland, including the new addition to the coaching bench, continued his breakdown of prospects that should be available when the Jazz are drafting with the 23rd pick, and answered your mailbag questions.

You can listen to the new episode of the Jazz Notes podcast below, or download it from the link at the bottom of the article.

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Jazz Hire Sergi Oliva

The Jazz added Sergi Oliva from the Philadelphia 76ers. The native of Catalonia spent the last six seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers before joining on the Jazz on coach Quin Snyder’s bench.

Oliva was promoted to vice president of strategy with the 76ers before last summer but was released from the team after a shakeup in the front office. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Oliva’s analytics-driven approach helped determine the 76ers rotation and substitution patterns.

In late September, the Jazz added former New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps to Snyder’s bench. Demps had been Snyder’s boss while the Jazz coach was overseeing the Austin Toro’s of the NBA D League.

The Jazz also hired longtime NBA veteran Keyon Dooling to serve in a developmental role. Dooling played for Snyder as a sophomore during the Jazz coach’s first lead position at Missouri.

Joe Ingles Working With The SLCPD

Joe Ingles, guard for the Utah Jazz is teaming with KultureCity and the Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) to become the first police department in the nation to be Certified Sensory Inclusive. KultureCity is a non-profit organization that aims to make everyday environments more inclusive to people with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ingles and wife Renee are the parents of a child with autism and sit on the Kulture City board. Through its training, the SLCPD hopes to highlight its Autism Safe Registry, a voluntary program where people register to provide officers and 911 dispatch responding to a call with important information about the needs of people they may encounter.

Ingles is hopeful the training can assist first responders when helping those in need.

“After finding out Jacob’s diagnosis for a couple of years now, you just realize it is not unfair, but Jacob needs to be treated differently to what our daughter Milla does,” Ingles said. “There’s no favoritism there, but it’s completely different.”

Michigan State Draft Prospects And A New Protocol

Two Michigan State prospects should be available with the 23rd pick when the Jazz are looking to make their selection. Xavier Tillman, the junior big man, and Cassius Winston, the senior point guard.

Tillman matches the Jazz mold of drafting players from blue-chip schools with strong physical measurements. As vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey has indicated, the Jazz are looking to up their defensive integrity after dropping back to the middle of the pack in defensive rating this season, and Tillman would help address those issues when Rudy Gobert is off the floor.

Of players projected to be available when Jazz draft in the first round, Winston might be the most NBA ready while also filling several skills of need. While the Jazz guard rotation is one of the deepest in the NBA, the uncertain future of Jordan Clarkson in free-agency, and the potential decline and departures of Mike Conley and Joe Ingles in the near future would make investing in a high-level offensive initiator a smart move.

A new safety protocol before the NBA will only allow the Jazz to see ten players workout in person before the November 18 draft.

The Jazz have traditionally brought in more than 100 players leading up to the draft in recent seasons to build a wider rapport with players and their agents throughout the league. Now, that number will be limited to just ten.

As a result of trimming the number of players a team can view before the workout, some of the mystery involved in the workout process might be eliminated.

Whereas the Jazz could disguise their draft targets among the hundred-plus players they workout, they will now before forced to reveal their hand among the select few prospects they hope to select in the draft.

Jazz Mailbag Questions

As he does every week, Ben Anderson answered your questions in the latest Jazz mailbag to conclude the Jazz Notes podcast. You can follow Anderson’s Jazz coverage by following him on Twitter at @BensHoops and submit questions for the mailbag.

Anderson: I think there’s mutual interest and I think there’s a fit. I think if Favors comes in and he can play right away and he can play in the playoffs. Those are really important. The Jazz didn’t have a big man behind Gobert, especially with Bojan Bogdanovic out that could play in the playoffs. So I think that would be very helpful.

Anderson: If you could trade Mike Conley for Jrue Holiday I would do that. Jrue Holiday is a better player, but I don’t know how else you get him. But I’ve also heard Denver is interested in Holiday. It clearly seems like New Orleans wants to totally start over and they could move JJ Reddick this offseason. They’re gonna go all-in on Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

Anderson: The name I’ve really talked about a lot is Moe Harkless. I don’t know how cheap he is, he might cost a full $10 million. That’s kind of the name I’ve liked for the Jazz. He’s hit shots at some points in his career. In some places he hasn’t, but when he’s been a standstill shooter it seems like he can shoot pretty well.

I also wouldn’t look past someone like Courtney Lee as a darkhorse that the Jazz make a strong push after. They could use another veteran who doesn’t need a lot of floor time.

Anderson: I think most of that would go toward resigning Jordan Clarkson unless they reworked Mike Conley’s deal to stretch it out longer by having him opt out this season and signing him for a longer deal.

They could potentially have a little bit more money, but that’s probably unlikely. I really think that $5 million would just give them a little bit more breathing room to resign Clarkson.

Anderson: I haven’t heard anything like that. I don’t think it’s crazy to think the Jazz could kind of quietly make some phone calls or certainly listen to calls on Conley. He’s good. He’s got a $34 million expiring contract, and you could potentially sing him again after this next season, or the Jazz could find a player that they like better. That could be a big wing if they feel like Donovan Mitchell is a point guard.

I don’t think it’s crazy to think that the Jazz could move on from Mike Conley this offseason. It would be drastic, it would be a radical change, and pretty dramatic, but it’s possible. I wouldn’t bet on it though.

Subscribe to the Jazz Notes podcast here, and listen for your mailbag answers weekly.

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Jazz Hire New Coach, Prospect Watch, And Mailbag Answers