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Mike Conley Rumors: Jazz Expected to Re-Sign PG On 3-Year Contract in Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2021

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Veteran point guard Mike Conley reportedly is set to stay with the Utah Jazz. 

According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the team and Conley are "expected to finalize a three-year deal" to keep him in Utah. 

Conley, 33, played well when healthy in the 2020-21 season with the Jazz, averaging 16.2 points and six assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and a career-high 41.2 percent from three.

Injuries cost him 21 games of the regular season, however, and five games in the postseason. The Jazz were 4-2 in playoff games he appeared in, but lost in six games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals, going 2-3 in the games he missed in that series. 

Retaining Conley to a core group that includes Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert—with key role players in Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson—would keep the Jazz in the running atop the Western Conference. 

There are questions about the ceiling of that group, however. Can the Jazz compete with the healthy versions of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns? Can they add some perimeter defenders for the postseason, when teams force Gobert to defend out of the perimeter and away from the paint, limiting his impact as a rim-protector? 

Mitchell will continue to improve and evolve as the team's top scoring option. But it's fair to question if a defensive-minded center like Gobert can be the second-best player on a championship team.

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Perhaps a healthy Conley would have cured Utah's ills against the Clippers this postseason. They certainly wouldn't be better without him going forward. His return is logical. But the moves the Jazz make around their core this offseason will be important as well. 

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