On his most recent podcast of the Hoop Collective, Brian Windhorst mentioned that he hadn’t heard that Mike Conley is available in trade talks. It was more of a side note, but it’s a pretty interesting revelation. Here’s what he said specifically.
“I said that the Timberwolves could use a guy like Mike Conley … It doesn’t appear Mike Conley is available, at least right now.”
You can listen to the entire episode here.
Conley is an interesting piece for the Jazz because he was an important part of the Jazz’s major runs with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert last season. On this team, he’s played well but has been more of a mentor and veteran presence. The truth is he could provide a lot of value to a lot of teams out there, like the Minnesota Timberwolves, that are looking to secure a playoff spot. The question for Utah is how important is Conley’s veteran presence this season while the team is at a crossroads with its future. Windhorst is very locked in, so you have to take this into account. It indicates that maybe the Jazz value Conley’s presence in the locker room and on the floor more than they do getting additional assets or better position in the lottery.
Although things can change very quickly in this league. For Utah, it doesn’t make sense to help out the Wolves because they have their pick, and they already own the majority of their assets. Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik aren’t going to trade Conley unless they feel like they’re getting the value back they believe Conley is worth. Teams that could benefit, that could also help Utah by improving in the standings, are teams like the Los Angeles Lakers or the Bulls. Can they make something happen that helps those teams improve so that Utah’s picks improve? We’ll see if anything happens, but it’s something to monitor as we get closer to February 9th.