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The Utah Jazz have acquired Mike Conley for Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen + picks

The Utah Jazz are now the best team in the Western Conference before the NBA approaches Free Agency.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz have acquired Mike Conley from the Memphis Grizzlies for Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, the #23 pick in this year’s draft, and future draft compensation. The Jazz have pushed all their chips in and are going for it next season.

This deal is amazing for a multitude of reasons. The Utah Jazz have now become one of the best, if not the best, team in the Western Conference before free agency. They will retain their ability to sign a player to an MLE and keep their depth by keeping Royce O’Neale, Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, Georges Niang, Dante Exum and Raul Neto.

James and I talked with Joe Mullinax of Grizzly Bear Blues about this just last night. Here’s how Mike Conley helps Utah immediately.

When I wrote about the pros of trading for Mike Conley I said the question wouldn’t be would Mike Conley be worth what Utah sent out, but would the shot at a championship be worth.

When people hear what the possible trade for Mike Conley could be—a couple protected 1st rounders + promising young player—they’re quick to balk at it. Rightfully so. That is a lot to ask for a 32 year old All-Star with only a couple years left on his contract. We ask the question, do you think that haul is worth Mike Conley? But that’s the wrong question. It’s not the question Utah’s asking when they look at this type of deal. They’re asking, “Do you think Royce O’Neale + 2 protected 1st rounders is worth an NBA Championship?”

For the young Jazz fans out there, there’s an entire generation of Jazz fans in their 50s and 60s who have seen this broken record. Almost getting there. Punting championship contention to the next year when MJ has retired, when the Lakers don’t have Kobe and Gasol, or—most recently—when the Warriors fall apart. The Raptors are showing that if you have the goods to compete you don’t back on the future, you bank on the present then see where your cards fall.

More news to follow as this story develops ...

[CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated Utah had $9MM for their MLE. They don’t because we were wrong. We apologize. But the Jazz still have Mike Conley, so WOOOOOOOOOO!]