The Jazz and general manager Justin Zanik have agreed to a contract extension, the team announced in a press release.
Along with Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, Zanik has been the man behind many of the team’s offseason moves, including the trades of three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell (to the Cavaliers), center Rudy Gobert (to the Timberwolves), guard/forward Bojan Bogdanovic (to the Pistons) and forward Royce O’Neale (to the Nets).
In exchange, the Jazz have received a bevy of draft picks to set themselves up for the future, as well as multiple young players — such as guard Collin Sexton, forward Lauri Markkanen, shooting guard Malik Beasley, rookie shooting guard Ochai Agbaji, and guard/forward Talen Horton-Tucker (from the Lakers for Patrick Beverley).
“My family and I have fallen in love with this great city and the state of Utah, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue this journey with the Utah Jazz,” Zanik said, via Angie Treasure of Jazz.com. “I have a deep appreciation for my partnership with (Jazz owner Ryan Smith) and Danny and am excited about our path forward with Coach (Will Hardy). We look forward to building towards winning the championship our fans deserve.”
Zanik is entering his fourth season as Jazz GM, originally joining the organization as assistant GM in 2013. His career began when he was coaching sixth-grade basketball and he met well-known NBA agent Mark Bartelstein.
He soon worked for an agency, then became the assistant GM of the Jazz from 2013-16. He left to become assistant GM of the Bucks under John Hammond (2016-17), before returning to the Jazz the next season, as they never filled his chair.
“Justin’s basketball acumen, ability to create meaningful relationships throughout the league, and management of our front office are invaluable assets,” Ainge said, via Treasure. “We’re thrilled that he’ll continue to lead the team.”
Today, Zanik gets the ball rolling on contract negotiations, facilitates trades, helps manage the salary cap and oversees the scouting of prospects.