Put the nail in the trade deadline coffin. While it looked like Utah was going full steam toward Mike Conley and the pieces were lining up, Memphis appears to have gotten cold feet. Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Grizzlies will be keeping their premier guard.
The Grizzlies are keeping Mike Conley, league sources tell ESPN. Memphis discussed deals with multiple teams, but ultimately decided to hold onto their franchise point guard.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
It’s over, folks. Whether it was a result of the asking price was too high, Memphis just not wanting to play ball, or a combination of the two, Utah looks to be bringing back the same squad after the deadline. There’s the pros to this deal that Utah gets to see what this team can do without any distractions—though they had that luxury to start the season—and fans get to enjoy a team that actually wants to be in Utah on the floor.
On the other hand the Utah Jazz now return to basketball action with the stakes raised. The Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets have all improved. Los Angeles is getting healthier. Utah’s schedule affords them a luxury of easy opponents, but their offense has struggled mightily over the past two weeks since the return of Ricky Rubio to PG and Donovan Mitchell moving back to SG. That can just be an adjustment period that needs to be made, but Utah has been struggling against teams then figuring them out in the 4th quarter. That’s okay to do when you play the Phoenix Suns, but won’t work against the top teams in the league.
For all intent and purposes, the Utah Jazz will now enter the 2019 NBA Offseason with a max slot’s worth of cap space. There’ll be a host of free agents available, but does that mean they can beat the astronomical odds of and get one to sign in a small market like Utah. The chances are low, but that’s where Utah is at this point. There also is the NBA Draft.
Memphis could have decided that by giving up Conley now, one of Utah or Detroit would get a lot better and their pick wouldn’t be as valuable. They could be waiting until then to make a move that works more in their favor and secure a better draft pick.
Whatever it is, now Quin Snyder has a very difficult task of extracting more development out of a roster that looks like it hit its glass ceiling in last year’s 2nd round of the playoffs.