After an extended search for a suitable trade partner in their quest to offload Mike Conley, the Memphis Grizzlies have now officially shipped away the veteran guard in a deal with the Utah Jazz. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Grizzlies traded Conley to Utah in exchange for Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen and two 1st round picks, including 23rd overall in this Thursday’s draft.
Memphis has traded guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz for Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver and Jae Crowder, the 23rd pick in Thursday's Draft and a future first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 19, 2019
Now 12 years into his professional career, Mike Conley will move on from the team that drafted him back in 2007. In many ways, Conley had been the Grizzlies’ lifeline for the past decade or so, spearheading their ‘Grit and Grind’ era and leading Memphis to seven straight playoff appearances between 2010 and 2016. Though the Grizz could never break through on the biggest stage, they were a perennially dangerous team in the West for years and advanced to the Conference Finals once in 2012.
Despite the success Memphis enjoyed with Conley running the show, it’s easy to see why they would now trade him away. Conley is likely past his prime at 31 years old, and the Grizzlies have already begun to embark on a rebuild.
Stud rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. should continue to develop, and all indications point towards Memphis selecting Conley’s successor, guard Ja Morant, with the second overall pick in this year’s draft. In the end, Memphis was able to acquire two valuable picks along with role players on expiring contracts and another young asset who may still hold some potential in Grayson Allen, making this a quality package in return for the aging floor general.
The deal is also logical from Utah’s perspective however, as they finally get the upper-tier point guard they had been hoping to pair with third-year standout Donovan Mitchell. Though Crowder was an important starter for them and Korver also played a role off the bench, their depth at forward is plenty deep with the likes of Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors and Royce O’Neale all capable of holding down the fort.
Unsurprisingly, this trade will also have some free agency implications, primarily regarding Ricky Rubio. With Conley now aboard, Rubio is likely headed elsewhere this summer, making him an attractive option for a number of point guard-needy teams. Just days after the conclusion of the NBA Finals, the Western Conference already looks vastly different with free agency still nearly two weeks away.