Jazz's Mike Conley Leaves NBA Campus for Birth of His Son Ahead of Playoffs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz dribbles the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

The Utah Jazz announced that star point guard Mike Conley left the NBA's bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort because of the impending birth of his son.

On Monday evening, Conley announced the birth of Elijah Michael Conley on Instagram. He also noted that both his wife Mary and Elijah are "doing great."

The sixth-place Jazz are matched up against the third-seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled to start Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Under the NBA's health and safety protocol, Conley will be tested for COVID-19 every day he's outside the NBA's bubble. Upon returning to Florida, he will be subject to a four-day quarantine period before he's permitted to return to the court.

As a result, Conley could miss a large chunk of the first round. Were the Nuggets and Jazz to go to seven games, the series would extend to Aug. 29.

According to ESPN's Eric Woodyard, the 32-year-old is aiming to rejoin his team at some point.

Conley is averaging 14.4 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. He missed a little over a month earlier in the season while dealing with a nagging hamstring injury.

The Jazz were already short-handed after a wrist injury ruled Bojan Bogdanovic out of the restart.

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

The Jazz made two major moves last summer to improve their chances to contend: trading for Mike Conley and signing Bojan Bogdanovic. They won't have either player when the playoffs begin. https://t.co/1djjgdK1Kn

Conley's absence will likely force Donovan Mitchell to play slightly out of position to run Utah's offense. Jordan Clarkson might also have to enter the starting lineup to fill out the backcourt.