The Utah Jazz have snagged their most dynamic point guard since Deron Williams. Mike Conley has been acquired by the Jazz, who desperately needed three-point shooting from that position. Deficiencies that were pronounced in the playoffs have been answered in the offseason.
Conley finished the 2018-19 season averaging a career-high 21.1 points, along with 6.4 assists. 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 33.5 minutes per contest. The 12-year-veteran averaged 25.8 points per game on 47.9 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three-point range after the All-Star break.
“Mike Conley had a tremendous impact in Memphis and always impressed us with his skills on the court, passion for doing good in the community and reputation as a great teammate,” said Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey.
“We share that same commitment to excellence and are excited to welcome Mike and his family to the Jazz, Salt Lake City and Utah. Mike brings outstanding qualities to our organization and we look forward to working together toward our collective goals.”
To date, the Utah Jazz have made a series of moves that many consider makes them true contenders in the West. With a hobbled Golden State Warriors, there are no locks to win the conference. The Jazz sense the opportunity and decided that the time was now.
Here’s a look at what the rotation might look like:
PG: Mike Conley, Dante Exum
SG: Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale
SF: Joe Ingles, Jeff Green
PF: Bojan Bogdanovic, Ed Davis
C: Rudy Gobert, Ekpe Udoh
With so many options, there is room for tons of creativity with that roster. We could also see a version where Green starts with Bogdanovic, allowing Ingles to come off the bench. We could also see minutes given to former Knick Emmanuel Mudiay who also joined the team.
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Gobert, who flourishes in the regular season by catching alley-oops and finishing around the rim, will now have some more space to work with. The Jazz can terrorize defenses now with four shooters and Gobert in the middle. More importantly, they now have personnel who can put the ball on the floor and make a play. It was evident in the past two playoff runs, that outside of Donovan Mitchell, the playmaking was subpar.
With roster upgrades come expectation. With expectation, comes pressure. All eyes will be on the Jazz (and Denver Nuggets for that matter) to see if they can make the leap that their new roster suggests.