Jazz VP Lindsey Moving Into Advisory Role

Jun 27, 2021, 9:39 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2021, 11:27 am
Justin Zanik and Dennis Lindsey (Photo: Ben Anderson)...
Justin Zanik and Dennis Lindsey (Photo: Ben Anderson)
(Photo: Ben Anderson)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey is moving into an advisory role the team announced Sunday night.

Lindsey was hired as the Jazz’s general manager in 2012 and was promoted to Vice President of Basketball operations in 2019. The longtime NBA front office member began his career in Houston and stopped in San Antonio before being hired by the Jazz.

“ESPN Sources: Utah Jazz EVP of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey is transitioning to an advisory role to owner Ryan Smith” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted. “Justin Zanik will continue to run day-to-day basketball operations as GM, which he’s done since Lindsey’s promotion to EVP in 2019.”

Lindsey was voted runner-up in the Executive of the Year Award race after building the Jazz roster that finished with a 52-20 record, the best in the NBA, before being eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the playoffs.

While serving as general manager, Lindsey oversaw the team’s hiring of Quin Snyder in 2014.

Snyder offered this statement after the news of Lindsey’s transition into a new role.

“I greatly appreciate that Dennis believed in me and gave me the opportunity to be the head coach of the Utah Jazz,” Snyder said. “He was extremely committed to my success, our players’ success and he built a roster that continually put us in position to grow and to contend. I am and will remain grateful for the time spent working with him.”

Lindsey is responsible for the draft night trades that landed superstars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in Utah and helped the Jazz sign Bojan Bogdanovic and trade for Mike Conley in recent years.

Zanik was originally hired by the Jazz in 2013 as assistant general manager, but left the team to serve in the same role for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016, but returned to the Jazz in 2017. In 2019, Zanik was promoted to general manager assuming day-to-day basketball operations responsibilities.

Lindsey issued a statement through Wojnarowski on the move:

In recent years, I have had conversations with the Miller family and then Ryan Smith when he came on board about moving into an advisory role,” Lindsay said. “This is an appropriate time to make that transition with the organization on such solid footing. I am proud of the progress we have made in raising our level of competitiveness in the Western Conference. We have built sustaining infrastructure around the team from enhanced performance analytics and upgraded training facilities to the local presence of the Salt Lake City Summer League and Salt Lake City Stars. I greatly value the many individuals that I have worked with and the players who have been a part of the Jazz during my tenure. I look forward to making contributions to the Jazz in a different way, while enjoying more time with my wife Becky and our four children.” 

With Lindsey in a smaller role, the Jazz front office faces difficult decisions in the upcoming months. Conley, a key cog in the Jazz success will be an unrestricted free agent and free to sign with any team he chooses. The Jazz could choose to chase the All-Star over the summer but would do so knowing they would have to venture deep into the NBA’s luxury tax with Gobert’s and Mitchell’s max contract extensions kicking in this summer.

The team also may need some retooling among its core pieces after a disappointing loss to the Clippers after taking a 2-0 series lead.

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