If Kevin O’Connor were giving up his general manager position with the Utah Jazz to accept a similar gig with some rival NBA franchise, to star in his own syndicated cooking show or simply to comb a beach for shells in an endless retirement, that front-office move in Salt Lake City truly would merit “Stop the presses! Extra, extra!” type of coverage. (OK, so few news outlets these days actually own presses and, of those who do, few would spend the cash to print an extra edition when they can simply update their Web site. But you get the point, you’ve seen the old B&W movies.)
As it turns out, this might not even be a dog-bites-man yawner. O’Connor indeed is giving up the GM job in Utah, as reported by Yahoo! Sports, the Salt Lake Tribune and others. But he is sticking around in an executive capacity that presumably will keep him involved with the Jazz’s big basketball decisions.
That’s quite different, more a lightening of O’Connor’s workload than an end to some era or a significant change in direction for the Jazz.
David Locke, the Jazz’s radio broadcaster, went so far as to suggest on Twitter that O’Connor, if looking outside the organization for someone to handle the day-to-day drudge work in his job, almost necessarily had to alter his own title. Few teams would allow their assistant GMs under contract to interview for a lateral move.
Even if it’s strictly a flow-chart thing, the usual suspects began to get mentioned as possible hires, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! wrote:
San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey has emerged as a strong candidate in the search, league sources told Y! Sports. Cleveland Cavaliers assistant GM David Griffin had talked to Utah, but is no longer under consideration, sources said.
Oklahoma City Thunder vice president and assistant GM Troy Weaver had been the No. 1 target for the search, but has decided to stay in Oklahoma City, sources said. The Philadelphia 76ers have shown strong interest in Weaver, but league sources said he’s made clear he plans to stay with the Thunder. Weaver previously worked under O’Connor in the Jazz front office before leaving for Oklahoma City.
Walt Perrin, Utah’s vice president of player personnel, was mentioned by Jazz beat guy Brian T. Smith as a potential internal candidate.