Dwyane Wade made waves back in April of 2021 when he purchased a minority ownership stake in the Utah Jazz. Now, one of his longtime friends and another Miami Heat alum appears to be joining him in the Rocky Mountains in a key organizational role.
There had been rumblings that former Heat assistant David Fizdale — who spent last season with Frank Vogel and the LA Lakers after head coaching stints in Memphis and the Big Apple — would interview for Utah’s top sideline post. League insider Marc Stein went so far as to opine that Wade could lobby for him to get the gig.
Instead, Fizdale will be joining the Jazz front office as an associate general manager, per a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
According to Woj, Fizdale will “work closely” with GM Justin Zanik and CEO Danny Ainge, the latter of whom became Utah’s chief decision-maker in December. The club’s coaching job, which opened up when Quin Snyder resigned earlier this month, appears to have been won by Gregg Popovich disciple turned Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy.
Does This Help a Potential Donovan Mitchell Play?
The hoops intelligentsia has been sounding off on the idea that Donovan Mitchell could make a blockbuster move from Salt Lake to South Beach since before the season ended. And some among the tinfoil-hat crowd have opined that Wade’s relationship with the three-time All-Star, his sway in Utah and his ties to Miami could facilitate a deal.
With Fizdale now joining the Jazz front office, those musings have seemingly been given new life.
“Undercover agents,” tweeted Five Reasons Sports’ Brady Hawk, along with a picture of Wade and Fizdale together.
This much is certain: after the Jazz fell short in their first-round playoff bout with the Dallas Mavericks, it became clear that major changes were coming this offseason. The popular belief is that one or both of the team’s stars in Mitchell and big man Rudy Gobert — an awkward pairing on and off the court — could be on the move.
So, while Fizdale may not actually be an undercover agent, he’s about to receive some serious on-the-job training as a fledgling front-office exec.
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Fiz Played a Major Part in Wade’s On-Court Evolution
After spending time on benches in Golden State and Atlanta, Fizdale joined Erik Spoelstra’s Miami staff in 2008. He went on to win two titles with Coach Spo and Co. during the Big Three era of Heat basketball.
More than that, though, he helped Wade find himself as a veteran baller.
“I allowed him to take my game to the place where I could still play now at 36 without having the same athleticism and everything I had when he first came here,” Wade told the New York Daily News during his farewell campaign.
“It’s tough. He came in and I’m a six-time All-Star already. So to sit there and show me a different way, to be able to explain it to me, to be able to give me the vision, it’s a talent he has.”