The Memphis Grizzlies traded longtime Star Mike Conely to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Jea Crowder, Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver and the #23 pick in last Thursday’s Draft and a future first rounder. This trade came one day before the NBA Draft, which makes a lot of sense because the Grizzlies drafted Ja Morant. Earlier in the season, the Grizzlies were shopping Conely, but his contract was the problem which shut down most trade talks at the deadline.
Conley is due $67 million over the next 2 seasons on his expiring contract, but the Jazz dumped 19 million off their books which now gives them the option to sign minimal exception players this summer. But with Conely being owed 67 million for the next 2 season money could be a problem down the road, but for now, there are 3 reasons why the Jazz will contend for the Western Conference title.
3. Conely will Improve the Offense
The backcourt consisting of Mike Conely and Donavan Mitchell is going to be Dynamite. But Conley brings another scoring threat to the table for the Utah Jazz. Opposed to Ricky Rubio who isn’t the greatest shooter couldn’t add to the scoring load for the Jazz last season.
Conely being added to the roster brings another dimension to the Utah offense. The pick and roll game between him and Rudy Gobert is something to watch for next season because Conely is a great decision maker and play maker which bring a dynamic aspect to the two-man game.
Joe Ingles will also benefit from the acquiring of former Ohio State star. Joe Ingles will get more open shots because the backcourt will draw double teams off the dribble. Additionally, Ingles will have an opportunity to make plays for Conely as well. The offense will be much improved and head coach Quin Snyder will have plenty of concepts to run next season.
2. Adding Conley Makes the Jazz Defense Even Better
Having Gobert, Ingles, and Mitchell and O’Neal already makes the defense one of the top units in the league. By adding Conely, it makes the defense even better.
He is a great on-ball defender who adds another dimension to the defense that puts this unit over the top. This will help come playoff time adding his veteran leadership to guide the Jazz to a potential Western Conference birth. The defense will have the ability to create more possessions which will lead to transition buckets. Expect the Jazz to play with more pace next season.
1. Conely Is A Proven Leader
Mike Conely will bring his veteran leadership to the team and will help mentor Donavan Mitchell. Opposed to Mitchell surprising the league in year one where he managed to lead the Jazz to the second round in the playoffs where he had no type of mentor to help him make the right decisions on the court in crunch time situations.
Now that Conely is in Utah, there won’t be as much pressure on Mitchell to deliver. He will be more confident and will play more free with Conely being his new backcourt mate. Conely has been through this share of playoff battles where he has been successful and has been on the losing end. This was a big add for the Jazz and the organization should get kudos for this move.