Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor On Why NBA Teams Call-up D-League Players Late In The Season

The Utah Jazz have become rather prolific their usage of NBA D-League call-ups over the past two seasons by signing Othyus Jeffers, Sundiata Gaines, Marcus Cousin and the newest of all call-ups Kyle Weaver.

Despite injuries to guards Devin Harris, Ronnie Price and Raja Bell, bringing Weaver into the mix so late in the season wasn't exactly cut-and-dry, especially since the team has been all but eliminated from the playoffs with just seven games left to play. The monetary investment alone made former Jazz beat writer Ross Siler take note of the move on his Twitter account

Part of the reason that Weaver was called up had to have come thanks to the excellent, and trustworthy, eye of scout David Fredman, obviously, but Jazz General Manager Kevin O'Connor today discussed with the media all of the reasons the team decided to bring in Weaver so late in the season -- among other things -- as transcribed by the Deseret News' Jody Genessy.

Q: Will this be an audition of sorts for Kyle Weaver or will he be signed simply to fill the injury void?

KOC: More because of the injuries, if you want the honest assessment. What we do is we have a list that we keep of every position in the D-League and every guy that's out there. We call it an emergency list. We evaluate what the emergency is. Marcus Cousin was an emergency when we had all of the big guys out.

(Weaver's) had NBA experience. He's been with a program like Oklahoma City, who does things the right way.

There's two or three reasons you bring somebody up at this time of the year, and I think he fills all three reasons. 1) He's somebody that we want to take a serious look at; 2) He's somebody that we're going to need to probably put in the game; and, 3) What kind of guy is he? And he comes up in good light on all of those.

If you look at him, one of the things you question was his outside shooting. If you look at him statistically on his NBD-League (stats), he's really improved that. He's in his 40s on his 3-point shooting.

Obviously, it'd have been interesting to hear what his thoughts are on calling players up this late season to secure their rights for the various Summer Leagues, but with a lockout looming that may not have been something taken into consideration.

But, at least as the Jazz are concerned, NBA teams are essentially interested in a player's resume, potential and off-court attitude as well as the ability to improve previous deficiencies.

Interesting stuff.

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