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Mike Conley Says He Wants to Sign New Jazz Contract: 'We Love It Here'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Having enjoyed a return to form this season, Mike Conley is looking to stay with the Utah Jazz when he becomes a free agent this offseason.

"Utah's got me," Conley told The Athletic's Tony Jones. "I was talking about this to my wife recently. We love it here. I don't think I can go anywhere else that plays the way we play. We'll see this offseason, because when that time comes there will definitely be a lot of chatter.

"But, from where I sit right now, this team is so unique, in the way we play. And everyone has bought into what we want to do on both ends of the floor."

Conley is one reason why the Jazz sit atop the Western Conference at 25-6. He's averaging 16.4 points and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and a career-high 41.2 percent from three-point range.

According to NBA.com, Utah has been 15.4 points per 100 possessions better with Conley on the court. The 33-year-old has provided exactly the kind of scoring and playmaking the front office envisioned when it sought to ease the burden on Donovan Mitchell.

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Conley's success is particularly rewarding for the Jazz given how much he initially struggled following his trade from the Memphis Grizzlies.

"What is gratifying is how Mike has come back and adjusted after the initial integration and injuries, and how he has worked his way through a really premature and unfair narrative that a player and a man like himself received," said Dennis Lindsey, the team's executive vice president of basketball operations. "Mike has taught me a lot about what life and sports teaches us."

Given his age, Conley might struggle to get a commitment matching the five-year, $152.6 million extension he signed with the Grizzlies ahead of the 2016-17 season.

But based on how the Jazz have operated recently, the desire for Conley to stick around might be mutual.

The front office could've shopped Rudy Gobert or simply let him walk as a free agent. Instead, he signed a five-year, $205 million contract. Utah also retained Jordan Clarkson with a four-year, $51.5 million deal.

Lindsey and general manager Justin Zanik obviously like their roster, and Conley has become a pivotal piece. Because of that, you'd expect the Jazz to make every effort to re-sign him.

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