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SALT LAKE CITY — “I’m a fan like everybody else,” said Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey.
Except most fans don’t refer to a possible No. 1 pick as “an attractive asset," like Lindsey did on SportsBeat Sunday.
“When you imagine you get it, you imagine who that player is, and we’ve run those iterations,” said Lindsey. “You also imagine making trades and asking another organization for their first born, if you will, and try to maximize the asset.”
The chances are beyond slim that the Jazz will capitalize on their 0.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, or 2.5 percent chance of landing a Top-3 pick. They will likely be stuck with the 12th pick.
“We’ll be anxious the night of the lottery," he said. "We’ll hope for good luck, but we’ll prepare for the 12th pick, and we’re happy with the 12th pick.”
Lindsey does have a little history of good luck. In 2002, when he was vice president of basketball operations and player personnel with the Houston Rockets, he struck gold when the Rockets capitalized on their 8.9 percent chance and got Yao Ming with the No. 1 overall pick.
Before that 2002 lottery, Lindsey walked around New York and found a penny that he kept as a good luck charm. It worked, and he still has that penny, although he doesn’t plan on bringing it to the Big Apple.
“I’m going to look for something new. I may take a walk around Central Park and find something appropriate," he said. "I have a lucky watch that my brother-in-law gave me… and every-so-often something will strike me that’s appropriate for this year, maybe it’s something with the Beehive State.”
Lindsey will also bring pictures of his family, “the ultimate good luck charm."
The Jazz have only moved up in the lottery once since its introduction in 1985 and that was in 2011 when they moved from six to three — courtesy of the New Jersey Nets via the Deron Williams trade — and selected Enes Kanter.
The Jazz were founded in 1974 and have never had the No. 1 overall pick. In that same time period, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had five — and six since 1971.
Lindsey’s mementos might just be superstitious fun, or perhaps they are the charmed talismans that give the Jazz something they’ve been desperately craving for 40 years — an “attractive asset."