The Memphis Grizzlies own the No. 2 pick in tomorrow’s NBA Draft. With Murray State’s Ja Morant on the board, the franchise looks to have made room in the backcourt by trading franchise star point guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz.
Per a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, Utah will send Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen and draft picks to the Grizzlies. Now, the Jazz will have a guard duo of Conley and burgeoning star Donovan Mitchell.
Conley, a former No. 4 draft pick out of Ohio State in 2007, has spent his entire career in Memphis. He averaged 21.1 points per game last season and has posted a 14.9 point and 5.7 assist average for his career.
This production earned him a 5-year, $152 million contract in 2016. He will be entering the fourth year of his deal next season, and he has an early termination clause next summer. He is set to make $32,511,623 for 2019-20.
He is currently scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
After the initial report of the deal was revealed, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski followed it up with the terms of the picks. This includes Utah’s No. 23 selection in the 2019 NBA Draft along with a protected 2020 first-rounder which will convey as a late-lottery selection in 2020 or 2021. From there, it could become a “lightly-protected pick” from 2022-24, per Wojnarowski.
Utah Jazz Roster & Starting Lineup After Mike Conley Trade
*Notates expected starter
C: Rudy Gobert*, Tony Bradley
PF: Derrick Favors*, Georges Niang
SF: Joe Ingles*, Royce O’Neale
SG: Donovan Mitchell*
PG: Mike Conley*, Dante Exum, Raul Neto
It’s worth noting that Derrick Favors and Georges Niang both have team options, as Hoops Hype details. There’s a chance that with Conley being acquired and boasting a large contract that it could lead to Favors heading to free agency and the team going another direction at power forward. With that said, moving Crowder in the deal complicates things a bit.
The contracts of Niang, Favors, Raul Neto and Royce O’Neale are also non-guaranteed, per Spotrac, so there’s still room for further roster shuffling this summer. The addition of Conley is also a quality veteran replacement for Ricky Rubio.
The 31-year old Spaniard is now a free agent. He averaged a career-high 21.1 pointsalong with 6.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game last season. He shot 44 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc.
Compared to Conley, particularly last season’s version, this is an immediate upgrade for Utah, who pushed the Houston Rockets to the brink in the Western Conference 1st Round this season.
This move could serve as a launching point for a conference finals run next spring.