The difficult decision has been made. Tyrone Corbin won’t return.
Now comes the really hard part for Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey: Finding the man who will lead the Jazz into the future.
Addressing the media on Monday, Lindsey wouldn’t put a time frame on his coaching hire. He insisted he has yet to have a single conversation within the organization on who the next Jazz coach will be. But that won’t stop the speculation.
Former University of Utah coach Jim Boylen has emerged as an early, potential candidate for the job. Boylen is currently the lead assistant for the San Antonio Spurs and is close to Lindsey, going back to their days together with the Houston Rockets. The two also share the same agent.
Another name that has surfaced is Phoenix Suns assistant Mike Longabardi, who is credited with turning the Suns into a credible team on the defensive end.
Other potentially available coaches include George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, Byron Scott and Stan Van Gundy.
Lindsey said his search will be wide open and thorough. He made it clear, however, that the new coach will be tasked with upgrading a defense that finished at or near the bottom of the NBA in almost all major categories.
Which way Lindsey will go? Will he hire a proven veteran like Hollins? Or will he go with a younger coach like Longabardi? Will he stay within the confines of the NBA? Or will he look at the college ranks for someone like Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg or Florida’s Billy Donovan?
Those are some of the questions that need to be answered when Lindsey and the rest of the Jazz organization sit down and meet over the next few days. Once they figure out just what they are looking for, they can narrow the list of candidates down to a working group.
Lindsey has brought the Jazz franchise to a crossroads in letting Corbin go. His coaching hire could very well set the path of the organization for the next decade.
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