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Kristin Murphy, KSL

Jazz promote Justin Zanik to general manager, move Dennis Lindsey to executive VP role

By Ryan Miller, KSL.com | Updated - May 10th, 2019 @ 2:06pm | Posted - May 10th, 2019 @ 12:48pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Dennis Lindsey is no longer the Utah Jazz general manager.

But fear not; the man who has assembled a perennial playoff contender isn’t going anywhere.

On Friday, the Jazz announced that Lindsey has been promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations. Assistant General Manager Justin Zanik will take over as the team's general manager.

"We are excited for these promotions as they further enable Dennis to provide executive leadership and overall strategic vision for Jazz basketball operations and give Justin the opportunity for greater impact on our organization," Jazz president Steve Starks said in a statement.

"As one of the brightest young executives in the league, Justin will be responsible for the day-to-day operations. Their leadership allows us to work collectively toward our championship goals."

The news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and quickly confirmed by several news outlets before the Jazz announced the move.

“Dennis has put together a team and staff that we are very proud of and who represent our values,” said Jazz owner Gail Miller in a statement. “We believe in the importance of continuity and have been fortunate to have Dennis, Justin and their families in our organization.”

Lindsey has been the Jazz general manager for the past seven seasons. Zanik has been Utah’s assistant general manager for a total of five seasons. He began with the Jazz in 2013 and served as the assistant general manager for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016-17 before returning to Utah.

"The Jazz are a tremendous organization and I am thankful to the Miller family for leading an organization that I aspire to work with for years to come," Lindsey said. "Our entire basketball operations and coaching staff are a terrific group who are all focused on the same goal. Justin is extremely talented and an even better person. We have enjoyed working closely together and I look forward to continuing our partnership."

What does this mean for the Jazz?

Lindsey will now be able to have a greater influence on the organization as a whole. His tenure has included a strong emphasis in analytical-driven decisions and the Jazz ramping up the analytical team.

He’s also served as the mouthpiece for some of the Jazz’s organization views, including when he aired his frustration about how the league was officiating Utah’s bigs in the paint — specifically how teams would grab and hold during rolls. Rudy Gobert led the league in dunks — and set an NBA record in the process — partially due to Lindsey bringing that to the attention of the league.

Lindsey has made some memorable draft-day trades, most notably trading cash for a late-first round pick the Jazz used on Gobert in 2013; and also when he traded up to take Donovan Mitchell in 2017.

He also hired Jazz coach Quin Snyder in 2014.

“I greatly appreciate working with Dennis and Justin and our entire basketball operations department," Snyder said in a statement. "Having continuity with good people is certainly a positive and look forward to our continued work together.”

The move keeps Zanik in the Utah front office, who was a finalist for the Philadelphia 76ers general manager job in 2018 and is widely considered one of the bright young minds in the game. He came to the Jazz from ASM Sports and was a certified NBA agent for 10 years before transitioning into a team role.

“I am honored for the opportunity to work in this uniquely collaborative environment with the coaching staff, players, front office and business operations,” Zanik said in a statement. “A camaraderie exists across the organization that makes this franchise special. My family and I are grateful to the Miller family, Dennis, Quin and Steve for their confidence and trust, and I look forward to helping us bring the Jazz the success our fans so deserve.”

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Ryan Miller

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