After a good 2020/21 NBA season with the Utah Jazz, Mike Conley was ready to run it back with the team. In a season where he earned his first All-Star Game participation, the point guard knew he was in the right place and decided to stay in Utah.
The 2021 NBA free agency was interesting for Conley. He drew interest from several teams trying to boost their backcourt, but he ultimately decided to sign a big deal with the Jazz and run it back.
Teams like the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls were interested in the veteran in the offseason. Still, leaving the team with the best regular-season record last campaign wasn't on his plans.
“There were a couple of teams that were involved. It was Chicago, Dallas. … New York was early, and then they kind of were off and on. For me, it was simple. It was the easiest decision…,” Conley told Sam Amick of The Athletic.
“Yeah, New Orleans [was involved]. So for me, it was an easy decision (based) on what we had built here and what I was able to be a part of last year and in the last few seasons. Just wanted to be a part of that journey with these guys. Trying to bring a championship to a place that, you know, it’s not easy to do. I think that seeing Milwaukee win was awesome. You know, just like from my standpoint of what I believe in, and what and what I’ve seen over my years, the vision that we had in Memphis, you know? To see the reaction of the fans and stuff. That’s what we want to bring to Utah, and give ourselves a chance to do.”
The Utah Jazz are making noise this campaign, starting with a 4-1 record and losing their first game on Saturday against the inspired Chicago Bulls. Curiously, one of the candidates to acquire Conley's services finished the Jazz's undefeated season, but that's not a big deal for them.
They picked things right where they left them, and the rest of the Western Conference should be worried about this squad. Last season, the Los Angeles Clippers stopped them in the second round of the playoff. Still, many fans think having Mike Conley on the court would have made the difference for Quin Snyder's team.
It's revenge season for them and Conley hopes to repeat the regular season they had last year, posting a league-best 52-20 record. With Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley leading the way, this team looks really dangerous.