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Dennis Lindsey resigns from running Jazz front office

Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JULY 08: Dennis Lindsey General Manager of the Utah Jazz speaks to the press about signing George Hill and Joe Johnson to the Utah Jazz at Zions Bank Basketball Center on July 08, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey built a team that had the NBA’s best record this season. With Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert locked in long-term, Utah should remain strong for years to come.

But as they transition to a new era under controlling owner Ryan Smith and minority owner Dwyane Wade, the Jazz will have a new lead executive.

Jazz release:

After nine seasons with the Utah Jazz and 25 years in the NBA, Dennis Lindsey has decided to step down as executive vice president of basketball operations. He will transition into a role as an advisor to the Utah Jazz. Justin Zanik, who was named general manager in 2019, will continue in his role overseeing the day-to-day management of Jazz basketball operations.

It’s unclear exactly how Utah’s front office will operate. Former Celtics president Danny Ainge, previously linked to the Jazz, could be involved.

Tony Jones of The Athletic:

Zanik once appeared in line to become the Bucks’ general manager, though Milwaukee went another direction. Since returning to Utah, he has interviewed with the 76ers and Bulls.

Whoever assumes control, the Jazz – with an already-high payroll – must handle Mike Conley’s unrestricted free agency this summer.

Under Lindsey, Utah has made the playoffs the last five seasons and won a series three of those years. That certainly wasn’t expected when star Gordon Hayward left in 2017 free agency.

Lindsey did well to acquire and empower Gobert (No. 27 pick in 2013) and Mitchell (No. 13 pick in 2017). Hiring Quin Snyder as coach also reflects well on Lindsey.

However, earlier this year, former Jazz player Elijah Millsap accused Lindsey of making a racist statement in 2015. An investigation didn’t substantiate Millsap’s claim, though just left an unfortunate unresolved limbo.