Back on May 15th, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer said that “multiple league sources said this week that the Jazz are expected to make another push for him after failing to land him prior to the deadline.” Kevin O’Connor’s multiple league sources appear correct as Adrian Wojnarowski last night during ESPN’s Trade Special said that Utah was one of three teams pursuing Mike Conley.
Woj names Utah, Indiana, and Boston *IF* Kyrie Irving leaves as teams that would be interested in trading for Mike Conley.— Sagar Trika (@BlazersBySagar) June 12, 2019
Woj: Utah is not going to get their point guard of the future at No. 23. Will see them active in trade discussions and free agency. Mentions Utah as a potential Mike Conley team for the second time during this show.— Sagar Trika (@BlazersBySagar) June 12, 2019
The Mike Conley to Utah rumors could ramp up really fast as Memphis would probably want to have the #23 pick in hand before the 2019 NBA Draft so they can game plan who they would like to select with the pick—or even garner interest to trade the pick for other future assets as they will be without a pick next year as they owe their 2020 1st rounder to Boston. With Boston and Indiana as the two teams in hot pursuit of Mike Conley, Utah could have first mover advantage here. The Indiana Pacers have a lot of pieces they’d like to bring back in free agency and will have their attention split with them. The Boston Celtics have their assets tied up as they go after Anthony Davis.
If Utah wants Mike Conley, the time to convince Memphis is right before the deadline. They’re not competing with Toronto and Detroit like they were at the deadline, and Boston and Indiana don’t want to play until they have their free agents back in the fold. With the Western Conference opening up with an injury to Kevin Durant, LeBron getting another year older, and Chris Paul in decline, the Utah Jazz with Mike Conley next year would be instant Western Conference contenders. While D’Angelo Russell would future proof Utah, there’s no guarantee they’d be instantly better as Utah’s development staff would have to bank on continued improvement of both Donovan Mitchell and D’Angelo. With Mike Conley, Utah instantly has the player they need to make a Toronto Raptors-like run in the Western Conference.