In a move that should surprise no one, the Jazz announced today that they have signed GM Kevin O’Connor to a multi-year contract extension. Jerry Sloan also confirmed that he will honor the contract extension he signed in December and will coach the team during the upcoming season.
It’s safe to say that the announcement of the KOC extension would have been met with a much more negative reaction from Jazz fans had O’Connor not taken Minnesota GM David Kahn out behind the woodshed earlier this summer and, to paraphrase the great Kelly Dwyer, somehow convinced him to give up Al Jefferson for a ham sandwich. If that deal doesn’t go down, you can bet there would be major unrest in Jazzdom.
The press release lists O’Connor’s accomplishments as GM:
Among some of the key moves orchestrated by O’Connor during his tenure with the Jazz are acquiring the draft picks (through trades) that led to the selection of Deron Williams and Gordon Hayward. Other acquisitions include, trading for Al Jefferson, the free-agent signings of Carlos Boozer, Matt Harpring and Mehmet Okur, and draft finds like C.J. Miles (34th overall in 2005), Paul Millsap (47th overall in 2006), Mo Williams (47th overall in 2003) and Wesley Matthews (undrafted in 2009)
That probably gives him a firm grasp on Best Second Round Draft Picker in NBA History. He’s also particularly adept at picking up second-tier players who flourish in Jerry Sloan’s system. In that vein, the rest of the accomplishments listed in the press release, such as the +.500 record in 10 of 11 seasons, would probably be more accurately attributed to Sloan.
The bottom line is that the Jazz are poised to keep their front-office intact and competitive in a league that shuffles coaches and GMs around like cheap office furniture. So what do you think? Are you excited for a few more years of the KOC era?