Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today

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Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#1 » by BarneyGumble » Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:37 pm

I can't say for 100% certainty that this will happen but I am hearing from someone I trust that the Jazz are announcing Ainge as CEO as soon as today.

Not sure how I feel about it if true.

That is all.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#2 » by GobertReport » Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:46 pm

BarneyGumble wrote:I can't say for 100% certainty that this will happen but I am hearing from someone I trust that the Jazz are announcing Ainge as CEO as soon as today.

Not sure how I feel about it if true.

That is all.


I remember I started a thread on this a while back, I think it was only a matter of time.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#3 » by GobertReport » Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:47 pm

Read on Twitter
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#4 » by GobertReport » Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:51 pm

Read on Twitter
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#5 » by zero24gravity » Wed Dec 15, 2021 9:35 pm

If Ainge can help make the little tweaks to this team that help get the Jazz over the top, then that's great! But if he wants to make change for the sake of change or pisses off other GM's with his unreasonable trade demands (which I think he has done before), then I hope Zanik is able to keep things under control.

I know Ainge is connected, so I'm excited for the Jazz. I just have some hesitation, and hope this doesn't undercut Zanik, cause infighting, or lose some of the "happy family" culture that the Jazz have. I understand it's a business, but if players don't feel valued in a small market like Utah, then they won't want to stick around/come. Right now I think the Jazz have a top to bottom happiness that is pretty unique. Bring the big market swagger, but don't forget that this isn't Boston.

With all that said ... I think this is a clear win-now move by the organization. They really want a title, which is great to see!
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#6 » by GobertReport » Wed Dec 15, 2021 10:10 pm

Ingles is cooked.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#7 » by stitches » Wed Dec 15, 2021 10:26 pm

Well one thing's for sure. We will all of a sudden become players for the biggest stars in the league. Oh don't get me wrong ... we won't get them, but there will be tons of leaks about just how close we were to striking a deal with numerous of the top dogs in the league.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#8 » by zero24gravity » Wed Dec 15, 2021 11:14 pm

stitches wrote:Well one thing's for sure. We will all of a sudden become players for the biggest stars in the league. Oh don't get me wrong ... we won't get them, but there will be tons of leaks about just how close we were to striking a deal with numerous of the top dogs in the league.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#9 » by vryadli » Thu Dec 16, 2021 3:00 am

I don't think anything good is going to happen. The last thing Jazz need just now it is a flurry of trades. Even without chemistry consideration, the Jazz system is too complicated and even brainy players typically need about a year to adjust to it. On the other hand some players need "forever"... and they may be could be moved without significant disruption. But it just now I don't think there such players, may be with the exception of Clarkson. Even Bogdanovich replacement with formally better option can pay off only in a couple of years. Which id going be too late.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#10 » by Rauxcee » Thu Dec 16, 2021 4:00 am

stitches wrote:Well one thing's for sure. We will all of a sudden become players for the biggest stars in the league. Oh don't get me wrong ... we won't get them, but there will be tons of leaks about just how close we were to striking a deal with numerous of the top dogs in the league.


Jokes on Danny. Jazz have traded away all possible assests so he doesn't even have anything to make almost trades with.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#11 » by babyjax13 » Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:10 am

Super excited to have the guy who tampered w/our team for an entire season running the place : /
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#12 » by babyjax13 » Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:10 am

vryadli wrote:I don't think anything good is going to happen. The last thing Jazz need just now it is a flurry of trades. Even without chemistry consideration, the Jazz system is too complicated and even brainy players typically need about a year to adjust to it. On the other hand some players need "forever"... and they may be could be moved without significant disruption. But it just now I don't think there such players, may be with the exception of Clarkson. Even Bogdanovich replacement with formally better option can pay off only in a couple of years. Which id going be too late.

Rudy Gay needed about a week, Whiteside needed three preseason games.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#13 » by Inigo Montoya » Thu Dec 16, 2021 11:53 am

I like it. Ainge has a much more aggressive/proactive approach and it's about time the Jazz had someone like that running the show. It doesn't mean we're going to see a flurry of trades, btw. The team might need some tweaking and I don't expect Ainge will start overhauling the roster at this point, maybe a small trade for another rotation piece.

In fact, I don't think this is a hire for the here and now, but for the near future. This team is very old and asset-depleted. If/when it becomes clear that this team is not a real contender, or when key players are too old (Conley, Bojan, Ingles) or at the end of their contracts, The Jazz will need to rebuild and/or attract new talent around DM and Gobert, assuming they'll stay. At most, this team can last until the 2023/24 season when Conley's deal is up. Ainge is pretty good in getting value in trades and collecting assets, and also he's not afraid to use them instead of letting them expire. It'll be a much faster rebuild with him around, I'm guessing.

Ainge was there for the getting now, so we got him now. Maybe next year someone else would have hired him. Some people would probably prefer that, but from Smith's point of view, the guy he wanted was free now, so he got him now instead of waiting for someone else to hire him.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#14 » by vryadli » Thu Dec 16, 2021 3:14 pm

Inigo Montoya wrote:I like it. Ainge has a much more aggressive/proactive approach and it's about time the Jazz had someone like that running the show. It doesn't mean we're going to see a flurry of trades, btw. The team might need some tweaking and I don't expect Ainge will start overhauling the roster at this point, maybe a small trade for another rotation piece.

.

There will be more excitement out of court, that's sure. Especially when just a couple of years till too high standing cease to be a problem for any kind of bold roster moves.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#15 » by Catchall » Fri Dec 17, 2021 4:22 am

For as much flack as Ainge has gotten, he has stature. He's got about as much experience in the league as anyone.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#16 » by Crunch 99 » Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:05 pm

Can anyone summarize Tony Jone's article below? Before the article runs out and says "subscribe now", I see these quotes from Ainge: “The roster is strong. So this is a chance to come in and work with a really good team. I’m not sure what needs to be done. But we’ll look at Justin’s team, and with (coach) Quin (Snyder), we will figure out what we need. But this is a really good team.” Ainge also says he will be in load management compared to his long workdays in Boston.

Why Utah Jazz were right fit for former Celtics boss Danny Ainge to take over as CEO
https://theathletic.com/3018462/2021/12/15/why-utah-jazz-were-right-fit-for-former-celtics-boss-danny-ainge-to-take-over-as-ceo/?article_source=search&search_query=Danny%20Ainge
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#17 » by GobertReport » Fri Dec 17, 2021 7:32 pm

Crunch 99 wrote:Can anyone summarize Tony Jone's article below? Before the article runs out and says "subscribe now", I see these quotes from Ainge: “The roster is strong. So this is a chance to come in and work with a really good team. I’m not sure what needs to be done. But we’ll look at Justin’s team, and with (coach) Quin (Snyder), we will figure out what we need. But this is a really good team.” Ainge also says he will be in load management compared to his long workdays in Boston.

Why Utah Jazz were right fit for former Celtics boss Danny Ainge to take over as CEO
https://theathletic.com/3018462/2021/12/15/why-utah-jazz-were-right-fit-for-former-celtics-boss-danny-ainge-to-take-over-as-ceo/?article_source=search&search_query=Danny%20Ainge

Spoiler:
Danny Ainge doesn’t want to get back into the day-to-day grind he left behind in Boston.

He’s done his time. He built the Celtics into a championship team. He’s long been known for biding his time, then taking big swings nobody saw coming. To Utahns, his resume as a player speaks for itself.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Utah Jazz hired Ainge as their alternate governor and CEO. This is a new challenge for the longtime NBA executive, who retired from the Celtics front office in June. It’s a challenge where he may not be taking every call, but ultimately is in charge of basketball operations. One where he makes the final decision, with a team led by general manager Justin Zanik doing the heavy lifting. Ainge wants to work daily. He made that evident. He also doesn’t want to go back to the 16-hour days that defined his work career in Boston.

“I’m kind of going to be in load management,” Ainge said with a laugh at his introductory press conference Wednesday.

Ainge will oversee basketball operations and answer directly to Jazz owner Ryan Smith, while Zanik runs the Jazz basketball office day-to-day. Utah has a team put together that it hopes will lead to a championship, the chance to finally climb the mountain that’s eluded it in past years.

“The roster is strong,” Ainge said. “So this is a chance to come in and work with a really good team. I’m not sure what needs to be done. But we’ll look at Justin’s team, and with (coach) Quin (Snyder), we will figure out what we need. But this is a really good team.”

Ainge to the Jazz was inevitable. His bond with Smith was too close, too tight, for him not to land with the Jazz in some official role. The only questions appeared to be when and in what capacity. And the job he took ended up being everything he could have wanted, with seemingly as much power as someone below ownership level can have, but without the enormous time commitment of being the GM.

The next question is who will have final say on basketball decisions, considering Ainge will report directly to Smith and ostensibly sit at the top of the org chart.

“If you’re in the league, everyone knows to call Justin right now. I think that’s pretty clear,” Smith said when asked who will have final say. “I think when it comes to decision-making, we’re in a culture that doesn’t really work that way. If a decision gets to where it’s so tough that we don’t have unanimous or, at least, the majority decision when it comes to me, I don’t anticipate a lot of that.”

Smith went on to say Zanik, Snyder and Ainge are “incredibly collaborative,” and it’s not about whether any of them are right, but about getting decisions right. Ainge then interjected to clarify that though he says he’s not doing the day-to-day operations, he is still working every day. He is just not the one answering the phone when other front offices call.

The Ainge hire is a significant move for the Jazz, another shift in a front office that has gradually moved from Dennis Lindsey to Ainge at the top over the past six months. That’s been done around a team that entered Wednesday night’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers with a 19-7 record, a seven-game winning streak and a spot in the top three of the Western Conference.

The Jazz were always going to replace Lindsey, and, according to sources, Zanik hoped he could be that guy. So it’s somewhat of a surprise this sort of move comes in the middle of December. But with the Jazz all-in on winning a championship this season and planning to be active on the trade market, the move sets the hierarchy and provides clarification on who is running what in the front office.

“I feel like Justin and I are excited to work together,” Ainge said. “He’s done a great job of running things. I can’t wait to work with him and communicate with him. I’m hoping that I can be a sound board for him.”

So, what, if anything, changes for the Jazz?

On the surface, not particularly much, at least this year. Even if Ainge becomes Zanik’s boss, Zanik is talented at what he does. His most obvious offseason move, getting Rudy Gay in free agency, has made the Jazz a better, deeper and more versatile team. But the move nobody talked about at the time, getting Hassan Whiteside on a minimum deal, is shaping up as one of the steals of free agency. So, clearly, letting Zanik continue doing what he does would be prudent for the Jazz.

Earlier in the week, The Athletic reported that the Jazz are in the trade market for a possible perimeter-oriented wing defender. And there lies the balance of what the next few months will bring, as the league heads towards the February trade deadline. The Jazz are in as good a position to compete for a championship as they have been since 1998. They are transparent about what their goals are this season, and they are clearly one of the top five teams in the league.

So the question is, do the Jazz make a move in order to potentially bolster their chances? If they decide the answer is yes, do they do it around the margins? Is it a potentially major deal? These are some of the questions the Jazz are going to have to answer with Ainge officially on board.

Sources close to Ainge had suggested he always wanted a Jerry West-esque role so he would have time for golf and his grandkids. Ainge’s son Tanner, a former congressional candidate in Utah who serves on the governor’s economic development board, has five children with his wife, Heidi. He is still tightly connected to his alma mater, BYU, so being close to both Salt Lake City and Provo gave him the best of both worlds. The Jazz noted in their press release that Ainge and his wife, Michelle, recently relocated to Utah.

According to sources, Smith pushed Ainge significantly to take the job. It was Ainge’s initial intent to sit out the season, but after seven months, he felt energized enough to make the leap. Ainge has always been insanely competitive, so when he retired, not many thought he would be done for good, and Smith wanted to hire him back in August.

The critical factor that made this all happen is Ainge’s relationship with the Jazz owner. Ainge doesn’t tweet much, but when he does, it’s usually to Smith. Finally, with Ainge ready to return, the two sat down in recent weeks and began to seriously work out a deal.

One of Ainge’s most recent tweets was a video of Smith serving as mutual friend and golf star Tony Finau’s caddy at the tournament. Looking back further in the timeline, Ainge quote tweeted Jazz minority owner Dwyane Wade, with whom Ainge has always had a good relationship, when Wade praised former Celtic Tony Allen’s upcoming Memphis Grizzlies jersey retirement ceremony. The clues for this partnership coming together have been out in the open for some time, and there were enough rumblings in recent weeks that league sources had started reaching out more frequently about movement on Ainge’s plans.

Golf was a half-joke, yet a persistent theme in any conversation surrounding Ainge’s future from the time he announced his “retirement” from the Celtics. In Ainge’s opening statement at his press conference in June, he was discussing when Celtics ownership first recruited him and mentioned he was golfing a lot at the time. Celtics governor Wyc Grousbeck interrupted to say: “You still do.”

Brad Stevens even noted during an early offseason press conference that Ainge was usually on the golf course on the occasions Stevens would reach out to his predecessor for guidance. It was clear if Ainge ever were to return to a front office, he would need more boundaries and a sustainable work-life balance that would involve a lot of divots.

“I think that when I had a heart attack two years ago, I started thinking about what I was doing with my life and what are the things I want to accomplish,” Ainge said upon his retirement. “But I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t have any plans.”

Ainge said Wednesday he “needed a break from Boston” and that he had to step away to recharge but now feels juiced up and ready to go. While he clarified that he held on deeply to his relationships with the Celtics, he was working 18-hour days at some points and needed time away.

The key for Ainge in Utah will be to manage his stress and workload. His alternate governor title, in addition to CEO, gives him tremendous latitude to shape his role within the organization. The Toronto Raptors have a similar situation after they recently named their president of basketball operations, Masai Ujiri, vice chairman in August. Raptors governor Larry Tanenbaum told The Athletic in an August interview the move was a symbolic recognition of Ujiri’s authority in the organization and not an actual ownership stake.

Ainge will likely seek to integrate the basketball decision-making process for the organization and use his alternate governor role to work with the NBA Board of Governors to shape the direction of the league. Smith said in his introductory remarks that Ainge will have latitude to become a leader throughout the Jazz’s holding company, Smith Entertainment Group (SEG). That includes Vivint Arena, the G League and 2K teams, the Salt Lake Bees minor league baseball team and Jazz radio broadcaster The Zone. Ainge noted that being able to spread his wings beyond basketball operations helped bring him back to the game.

“There was a possibility that I would step away forever. My wife and I had discussed that many times, and I have looked at other opportunities outside of basketball,” Ainge said. “And one thing that intrigues me about this opportunity is, like Ryan said with SEG, there are things other than just basketball that excite me as well.”

When he was in Boston, Ainge did not typically make the phone calls to get deals rolling, which usually fell to assistant GM Mike Zarren, as it does with many front offices. Ainge would be in the background making the final decisions and determining the official order of their draft and free agency board. With Zanik already in place, there is no need for Ainge to insert himself into the front office’s intraleague communications with trade season beginning on his first day of work.

Not much should change, and unless he has a shakeup in mind, the team in all likelihood will have its core in place after the trade deadline in February. The inflection point will come in the offseason if the Jazz, who currently look like contenders, fall short in the postseason again.

Ainge’s tenure in Boston was defined by three distinct shifts in roster-building strategy. The first decade saw him target high-school prospects in the middle of the first round to build up enough of an asset collection to bring in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen after a year of tanking for a high draft pick. Then, when that core was clearly aging, Ainge blew it up a year earlier than expected for draft capital. He then became incredibly efficient with his signings in the Stevens era and built a fringe contender around Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford as his top picks Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown developed.

He then made another trade to flip Thomas for Kyrie Irving, but Irving’s health issues and Gordon Hayward’s max free agent deal disrupted up the Celtics’ first window of contention, and an amalgamation of chemistry issues and conflicting development timelines left the team perilously close, though perpetually stuck. Ainge held onto first-round picks and continued to draft long-term projects while the team struggled to put sufficient depth around its core, a polarizing approach Stevens reversed in his first offseason by pushing several of Ainge’s recent picks down the depth chart to make room for Horford (again), Josh Richardson and Dennis Schröder. That hasn’t worked yet, either.

The Jazz currently resemble a much more robust version of those Celtics, with veteran depth players who know their roles and how to fit together. It seems the bigger questions are whether they can keep the other key scorers around Donovan Mitchell healthy in the spring and if they can find a way to keep Rudy Gobert in the driver’s seat against playoff scheming. If the Jazz fall short of the conference finals for the sixth year of legitimate contention in a row, Ainge won’t be afraid to finally move Gobert or consolidate Utah’s depth for a more potent three-level playmaker.

Ainge brings authority GMs throughout the league respect and the pedigree of having built a championship roster. He’s been a master at asset accumulation and has the ability to make the earth-shattering trade. He hasn’t always drafted well, but when he hits, he hits big.

When he initially walked away from the NBA, it was apparent if he was to return, he would need a role in which he could hover above the day-to-day grind and take something from good to great. As it turns out, the Jazz were the perfect fit.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#18 » by Crunch 99 » Tue Jan 4, 2022 4:31 pm

Rauxcee wrote:
stitches wrote:Well one thing's for sure. We will all of a sudden become players for the biggest stars in the league. Oh don't get me wrong ... we won't get them, but there will be tons of leaks about just how close we were to striking a deal with numerous of the top dogs in the league.


Jokes on Danny. Jazz have traded away all possible assets so he doesn't even have anything to make almost trades with.


Totally agree that Ainge doesn't have much players and picks to work with. And trading Ingles for someone better than Ingles for the remainder of the season is a very difficult challenge imo. Would have been a lot easier to trade Ingles last summer when Gobert Report wanted to trade him, when Ingles was coming off a season of productive stats, including leading the NBA in 3p% for a time, and Ingles wasn't getting beat as often on defense.

Disagree that Ainge is an "almost trade" guy, though the Celtics were associated with a lot of almost trades.
5 best trades of Danny Ainge-led Celtics era
https://clutchpoints.com/5-best-trades-of-danny-ainge-led-celtics-era/

I also think turning finished IT in to the supremely talented Kyrie Irving and signing free agent Hayward were great moves on paper that some other GMs were likely envious of at the time, but just didn't work out well because of Irving's now well known quirky personality and Hayward's freak injury.

Another doubt I have about Ainge pulling off something significant before the trade deadline, besides the fact that he doesn't have much assets to work with, is that Ainge came in talking about load management for himself and not taking the day to day calls. Since he seemingly has far less picks and tradable assets to work with than he is used to having, I think it would probably take Ainge's former 17 hour workdays and making/taking hundreds of calls to potentially find a trade that would meaningfully upgrade our title hopes this season. JMO.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#19 » by Inigo Montoya » Tue Jan 4, 2022 5:04 pm

I don't expect much activity from the Jazz this season, Ainge, or not. I think he'll kick it into gear when the time comes to overhaul the roster.
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The real decision the Jazz FO is making is between Continuity, Cap Flexibility, and Cash Considerations.
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Re: Jazz to announce Danny Ainge as CEO today 

Post#20 » by GobertReport » Tue Jan 4, 2022 9:43 pm

Inigo Montoya wrote:I don't expect much activity from the Jazz this season, Ainge, or not. I think he'll kick it into gear when the time comes to overhaul the roster.


I hope not but you maybe right, I don’t want to see another 2nd round asset.
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