The Utah Jazz may want in on the trade action and are exploring the option to bring in a player who’s been a hot-button topic ahead of the trade deadline. Mike Conley has been a staple of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise since they drafted him No. 4 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft. But it seems the team is now considering dealing both Conley and center Marc Gasol.
While both players have been linked to a few teams on the rumor mill, the Jazz took steps towards a possible deal for Conley recently. As Marc Stein of the New York Times detailed, the two sides have had exploratory talks on a deal centered around Conley and Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio.
As Stein goes on to detail, the Jazz reportedly have “undeniable interest” in Conley, but the jump from Rubio’s expiring contract to Conley’s large remaining contract is big. He also points out that the Grizzlies “covet prime draft compensation in a deal.”
With that said, we’re going to take a look at how a few potential deals for Conley could look, each of which includes Rubio as well as draft capital.
*Note: All trades created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
The Simple Jazz Trade for Mike Conley
*Jazz send a first-round pick to Grizzlies
While this deal includes just one future draft pick, I’d be interested to see how the Grizzlies value Derrick Favors. While there are two years left on his current deal and he’ll cost a decent amount next season, the team obviously has options on how to move forward. Favors has still been productive but isn’t a dominant big man. If Memphis is looking to trade Gasol as well, then Favors could play a role alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. and JaMychal Green this year.
The 27-year-old is averaging just 23.2 minutes but has shot 57 percent from the field while averaging 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Beyond that, the biggest factor is that the Grizzlies aren’t likely to get a high pick from the Jazz, especially if things pan out with Conley. The pick could still prove to be better than what some of the other top teams could offer.
Jazz Trade Multiple Pieces for Conley & JaMychal Green
*Jazz trade future first-round pick to Grizzlies
I opted against adding a second pick to this deal, largely due to the fact that Royce O’Neale is a fairly valuable piece in my eyes. He’s young, has upside and won’t break the bank for the Grizzlies. O’Neale has the potential to play a solid role in the team’s potential rebuild. Beyond that, they pick up the contract of Favors and his ability to help out for the next year and a half, along with two expiring deals.
As for the Jazz, they would add both Conley and JaMychal Green here. While Green is in the final year of his deal, he’d immediately help Utah’s roster and has proven to be a solid and productive big man. Slating him either as the first player off the bench or even starting next to Rudy Gobert would make sense.
Pick-Heavy Deal With Young Players to Grizzlies
*Jazz send a first-round pick (2019), 2021 first-round pick and 2022 second-round
The Jazz are moving on from a few young pieces here in Dante Exum and Grayson Allen for different reasons. Exum has shown some upside at points, but with Conley coming to town, his role and value diminish drastically. Beyond that, Allen was the team’s first-round pick last year but is averaging just 10.8 minutes per game with 4.5 points. He’s shooting 32.7 percent from the floor and a change of scenery could obviously be beneficial.
This isn’t to say that Allen has no upside or potential, but the Jazz simply don’t have the minutes to give him. If he lands in Memphis there’s a good chance he’d be able to gain more run and hopefully build his confidence up after a slow start to his NBA career.
As far as the three picks go, there’s just very little about this trade that’s enticing to the Grizzlies aside from the potential of Exum and Allen. On the other hand, if this deal were to happen, it means the Jazz avoid losing any key pieces of their roster without having a replacement while Memphis gets a nice start to their rebuild.