In identifying a team struggling to take the next step, the Utah Jazz fit the bill. Lead by young superstar guard Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz have a guy they can build around. What they have realized this season is that the parts they currently have surrounding Mitchell are not going to cut it. They will need more.
Specifically, they need another star to lighten the scoring load Mitchell is expected to carry. In a report by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Mike Conley could be that guy.
“Memphis seriously discussed sending Conley to the Jazz prior to the deadline, and those talks could pick back up in June, according to multiple front office executives.”
Assuming Conley denies picking up his player option, he will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. His patience for the Grizzlies’ current rebuilding era will not last long, and that was even before they shipped his friend Mike Conley to Toronto.
For Memphis, trading their star point guard is a no-brainer, because he will likely not return in 2020 anyway.
If dealt to the Jazz, they might finally have enough fire-power to contend in the Western Conference. As a solid two-way point guard, he would fit perfectly with their gameplan, serving as a second star to Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt.
At age 31, Mike Conley still has a lot to offer. Utah may be the perfect place for him, provided they are willing to give up what it takes. As both teams close out their seasons, it is clear that they are in different stages. With Utah ready to compete now, and Memphis preferring to go young and rebuild, it will be interesting to see what direction they decide to move and if any of them involve Michael Conley Jr.