Report: Mike Conley Traded to Jazz for Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Draft PicksJune 19, 2019
The Memphis Grizzlies rebuild is fully underway.
The Grizzlies agreed to trade longtime point guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.
Memphis will receive a package that includes Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver and two first-round picks, including the No. 23 overall selection in Thursday's draft, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The second pick will convey in the late lottery in 2020 or 2021 or become "lightly protected" in future years, per Wojnarowski. The deal will become official July 6.
The Grizzlies' decision to move Conley comes about four months after they traded Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors.
Conley expressed his thoughts about the trade on Twitter:
Conley, 31, has spent his first 12 seasons in Memphis. He's started 758 of his 788 career games, writing his name all over the Grizzlies' record book. Gasol and Conley own nearly every major record in franchise history.
Memphis' decision to move on is a result of the team's inability to compete with the top of the West with Conley and Gasol as their two best players. The Grizzlies started the 2018-19 regular season 12-5 and looked primed for a bounce-back from the previous year, in which Conley played just 12 games.
Things quickly fell apart after the hot start. Memphis went 33-49 before landing the No. 2 pick, where it will likely take Ja Morant.
Conley was essentially at his past performance level this season, averaging 21.1 points and 6.4 assists. He was once again on the shortlist of players snubbed for the All-Star Game.
The Jazz assume the $67 million remaining on Conley's contract for the next two seasons, provided he picks up his player option for 2020-21—which is not as much of a certainty as it seemed a year ago.
Conley has played well enough that he could opt for free agency again in 2020 when he'll be 32 and probably able to nab a three-year deal that would pay him more money over the long term.
In the meantime, the guard can be a nice upgrade for Utah. The team has reached the playoffs in three straight years, winning two playoff series, but was still a step away from being a legitimate title contender.
Conley has proved to be a quiet leader who has almost no glaring flaws in his game. He'll be a welcome addition on the court and in the locker room. Adding his offensive game to solid defensive unit could make Utah a formidable opponent in the Western Conference.