The Utah Jazz have reportedly emerged as the frontrunner to pull off a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for veteran point guard Mike Conley, according to Shams Charania.
The Grizz are seemingly locked in on drafting Murray State point guard Ja Morant with the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20, which will likely signal the end of Conley’s tenure in Memphis. The 12-year point guard was selected fourth overall by Memphis out of Ohio State in 2007, and he has spent his entire career with the franchise.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor also recently reported that the Jazz are among the teams expected to pursue Conley. O’Connor notes, “multiple league sources said this week that the Jazz are expected to make another push” for the 31-year old lefty. The Boston Celtics (assuming Kyrie Irving leaves) and Indiana Pacers are also in the mix, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Last season with the Grizz, Conley averaged a career-high 21.1 points with 6.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 70 appearances this season. The issue with Conley, however, is his hefty contract. He is guaranteed $32 million in 2019-20 and any team looking to make a trade would also have to be willing to pay him $34.5 million in the 2020-21 season as part of his original five-year, $153 million contract.
Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer which will clear up some cap space if the team does want to make a deal for Conley.