Prior to this season’s trade deadline, the Jazz and Grizzlies engaged in serious discussions about a deal that would have sent Mike Conley to Utah. While the two sides ultimately didn’t agree to terms on a deadline deal, those talks could pick back up in June, front office executives tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
The exact details of Utah’s February offer for Conley aren’t known, but the Jazz were believed to be offering at least a first-round pick and a pair of expiring veteran contracts (Ricky Rubio and Derrick Favors). Memphis reportedly sought a second first-round pick or point guard Dante Exum, and the Jazz weren’t willing to go that high.
The Grizzlies moved on from veteran center Marc Gasol at last month’s deadline, signaling that they’re ready to break up their longtime core and retool their roster. In other words, Conley is a good bet to be back on the trade block this summer. However, a report after the deadline suggested that Memphis also doesn’t mind the idea of hanging onto its point guard and building around Conley and Jaren Jackson, so an offseason trade certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion.
Conley remains under contract for $32.5MM in 2019/20, with a $34.5MM early termination option for 2020/21. That’s a steep price to pay for a point guard in his 30s, but the former Ohio State standout has been as good as ever this season, averaging a career-high 20.7 PPG to go along with 6.4 APG, 3.4 RPG, and 1.4 SPG.
The Jazz, meanwhile, could be on the lookout for a point guard this summer with Rubio set to reach unrestricted free agency and Exum once again plagued by health issues.