Utah Jazz: Is there an alternative reality coming soon?

Oct 5, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz guard George Hill (3) and forward Gordon Hayward (20) talk mid court during the first half of the game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Utah Jazz defeated the Phoenix Suns 104-99. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 5, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz guard George Hill (3) and forward Gordon Hayward (20) talk mid court during the first half of the game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Utah Jazz defeated the Phoenix Suns 104-99. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports /

Could it be possible that the Utah Jazz were forced to begin a new chapter in the team’s development one day after being swept out of the playoffs?

Dennis Lindsey joined the Utah Jazz organization in 2012. Since that time, do you remember a time where the public has witnessed Lindsey agitated, frustrated, or heaven forbid, angry? Surely it’s happened at least once over the last five seasons, right?

I wonder what it takes to get under the skin of the usually laid back Texas native?

The most recent slew of tweets, rumors and fake news regarding Gordon Hayward wouldn’t be enough to raise Lindsey’s ire. He knows rumors are a part of the league.

Could the fact that Hayward and his agent seem hellbent on meeting with a number of teams to listen to their best free agent pitch raise Dennis’ blood pressure? Seems unlikely since Lindsey is quick to point out Hayward has earned that right.

The Jazz’s season ended abruptly on May 8 at the hands of the now world champion Golden State Warriors. The next day, Jazz players and management assembled at the Zions Bank basketball facility for the annual and customary locker clean out day. As part of this annual ritual each player sits down behind closed doors with Dennis Lindsey and Coach Snyder.

Did Gordon Hayward, behind closed doors, thank Lindsey and Coach Snyder for everything. Then did he look both men in the face and say, “I’m out.”?

Such a declaration would tick off even the most mild mannered human. If this happened, Dennis Lindsey most likely smiled, thanked Gordon for his honesty, excused him from the room, and then rolled up his sleeves and began constructing a white board.

You don’t have to look much farther than recent articles from The J Notes contributor, Jared Woodcox, to read a series of stories centered around the rampant speculation that Hayward will be suiting up for a team out East.

I have two thoughts on the matter:
1) Media sources reporting Hayward is leaving to follow his college coach, Brad Stevens, are guilty of being lazy. Just because Stevens and Hayward have history and like each other doesn’t mean there’s anything to report. Sports writers, please, you are better than this.
2) Regardless of what Hayward does end up doing, Dennis Lindsey has a plan.

There will be plenty of time for Jazz Nation to wail and gnash their teeth if Gordon leaves.

The question is, Jazz fans, are you prepared for an alternative reality if indeed Hayward chooses to play for another fan base?

Ok, I’ll go first.

Bleacher Report recently released their top 100 free agents. Each of these are players that Utah may need to look at if they hope to stay afloat after Hayward’s departure. For now, let’s only consider unrestricted free agents the Jazz could add to their roster.

Note: My alternative reality assumes if Hayward leaves, none of the other free agents will be retained. Meaning Joe Ingles, George Hill, Shelvin Mack, Jeff Withey and possibly Boris Diaw will be somewhere else.

Point Guards:
Jeff Teague– age 28, 15 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal last year with the Indiana Pacers.
Darren Collison– age 29, 13 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal last year with the Sacramento Kings.
Derrick Rose– age 28, 18 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal last year with the New York Knicks.
Dark horse possibilities: Jrue Holiday, Shaun Livingston or Patty Mills.

Wing players:
Rudy Gay– age 30, 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. Gay played last year in Sacramento and is coming back from a torn Achilles injury.
James Johnson– age 30, 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block last year with the Miami Heat.
Serge Ibaka– age 27, 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 blocks last year finishing with the Toronto Raptors.
Ersan Ilysova– age 30, 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Ersan finished last year with the Atlanta Hawks.
Justin Holiday– age 28, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal last year with the Atlanta Hawks.
Dark horse possibilities: Jeff Green, Tyreke Evans or P.J. Tucker.


Terrence Jones-age 25, 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block while playing most of the year with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Taj Gibson– age 31, 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block split between playing for the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Donatas Motiejunas-age 26, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal only playing 34 games with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Dark horse possibilities:  Jonas Jerebko

From there, let’s speculate for a few minutes. Derrick Favors returns to form and completes next season playing all 82 games. Dante Exum becomes a relevant contributor while maintaining his health. Rodney Hood can rise above his shooting struggles of last year. He also needs the luck of good health. Alec Burks, well let’s just wish he can play in 15 straight games.

That list of unrestricted free agents provides some intriguing roster building opportunities. As such, now is the time to start working on an alternative reality, just in case. If the best case scenario happens with the guys on Utah’s existing roster and they can put together the right combination of the best free agents, the team could still be in a decent spot.

Recently the Boston Celtics swapped draft positions with the Philadelphia 76ers in the upcoming NBA draft. The Celtics gave up the number 1 pick for the number 3 pick. Many have speculated Boston made the move as part of a larger move to acquire the services of either Paul George or Jimmy Butler.

Why is no one speculating the Celtics made the swap so they could acquire the services of Gordon Hayward?

More from The J-Notes

Sign and trades are still part of the NBA landscape and something to that effect could very well be in the works. If such is the case, then Plan “B” for the Jazz could get very interesting.

In other words, the alternate reality that I mentioned earlier could end up becoming actual reality. Luckily, even if Utah Jazz fans aren’t ready for it, I’m certain that Dennis Lindsey is.