Danny Ainge: Jazz Have Championship Plan In Place

While the Jazz are viewed as a team that’s willing to go into the tank in 2022-23, it won’t always be this way, CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge indicated in a team statement.Danny Ainge

In the event you needed a refresher, the Jazz have traded away Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves) and Donovan Mitchell (Cavaliers). In return, they received the likes of Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and rookie Ochai Agbaji from the Cavs, as well Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson in the Patrick Beverley trade with the Lakers.

Along with that, they received a boatload of future first-round picks and future draft swaps.

“It was clear that in order to optimize our opportunity to create a team that could truly contend and establish sustained success, we needed to transition our roster,” Ainge said in a team statement. “In trading Rudy and now Donovan, it was a rare opportunity to maximize our ability to get quality talent and picks to best position us moving forward.

“We have a plan in place to help us assemble the championship team our fans deserve. It will take time to craft our roster. We all understand the work ahead and are committed to our vision.”

The Jazz will have new uniforms this season, and yes, an almost entirely new team to go with it. They are signing Sexton to a four-year deal worth $72 million, and view Sexton, Horton-Tucker and Markkanen as the building blocks to their future.

“Ochai, Lauri and Collin are exciting young players, and we’re thrilled to add them to our roster,” Jazz GM Justin Zanik said. “We believe that they fit the Jazz culture and hard-nosed, competitive brand of basketball we’ve built here in Utah. They give us versatility and athleticism on both ends of the floor as we grow toward the future. We look forward to our fans getting to know them.” 

Meanwhile, Jazz owner Ryan Smith had some positive words about Mitchell’s time in Utah.

“The Jazz had so many great moments with Donovan over the past five years as he developed into a perennial All-Star,” Smith said. “But just as important was the lasting impact he made in Utah. He is an amazing human and touched the lives of so many through his engagement in the community. Our entire organization wishes him every success in his future. Once a Jazzman, always a Jazzman.”

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