Mike Conley Hopes To Re-Sign With Jazz

Halfway through his second season with the Jazz, Mike Conley is completely sold on the organization, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. After an awkward start to last season, the 33-year-old point guard has become comfortable in his role and is hoping for a long-term deal when he reaches free agency this summer.

“Utah’s got me,” Conley said. “I was talking about this to my wife recently. We love it here. I don’t think I can go anywhere else that plays the way we play. We’ll see this offseason, because when that time comes there will definitely be a lot of chatter. But, from where I sit right now, this team is so unique in the way we play. And everyone has bought into what we want to do on both ends of the floor.”

Everything seems to be going well for the Jazz, who hold the league’s best record at 25-6. All the pieces are fitting together and Conley is playing as well as ever, averaging 16.4 points and 5.6 assists per game while leading the league in NBA.com’s list of individual net rating.

Jones notes that there are plenty of reasons for the Jazz to let Conley go if the relationship hadn’t been so successful. Donovan Mitchell handles the ball frequently and could take over as point guard if needed. Conley makes $34.5MM this year, and a new contract will involve a significant financial commitment for a franchise that is already in luxury tax territory.

Even so, Jones suggests Utah’s front office is committed to holding onto Conley.

“What is gratifying is how Mike has come back and adjusted after the initial integration and injuries, and how he has worked his way through a really premature and unfair narrative that a player and a man like himself received,” said executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey. “Mike has taught me a lot about what life and sports teaches us.”

Conley’s time in Utah got off to a rough start after the Jazz traded for him in the summer of 2019. A pulled hamstring sidelined him for much of his first season with the team, and he wasn’t playing at his normal level when he was on the court. Things didn’t fully turn around until the restart in Orlando, but there were still whispers that Conley was past his prime and perhaps the trade was a mistake.

Conley hated feeling like he was disappointing Jazz fans, whom he describes as “very passionate.”

“So to start the way I did, not doing anything well, not being able to hit a shot, that wasn’t me,” he said. “And then when the injury came, I wasn’t able to show what I could do. For a while, it felt like anything I did was going to be bad. It was tough. I wasn’t used to negative criticism. I felt like I let the people down.”

That has changed this season, and Conley could be on the verge of an All-Star selection, which has eluded him throughout his career. Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert seem like sure things, and Conley makes no secret of his desire to join them when the reserves are announced later today.

“I think this year, honestly, I’m playing the best basketball of my entire career,” he said. “Being 33 years old, I’ve never had the opportunity to play in the game. I’ve had the door shut so many times. But it’s been so much fun being a part of a team like this that is so unique. We play so unselfishly, and we have a defensive mindset and a physical mentality.”

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15 thoughts on “Mike Conley Hopes To Re-Sign With Jazz

  1. Lakers1

    How many times does a pending free agent say I’d love to resign here.. 99.9% of the time?

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    At 30 mins a gm Conley has played well. I agree he’s a good mix on a good team. This yr his stats are solid. But he is not worth major money as 6th man, or 30 mins a gm. That’s where the issues are. If he loves it there then he should resign for reasonable contract. 3 yrs team option on last yr. 35-40 mill somewhere in that range.

    • Rewane

      His production right now exceeds 13 million a year comfortablely. No way he signs for that price anually for only 2 years guaranteed. Either this salary for 4 years or 5 millions more for 2 years.

  3. hiflew

    The issue with Conley has never really been his on court play, it’s mainly been his salary. He’s been overpaid for years, but he remains a very good player. He would be a huge bargain at about half his current salary though.

    • osaegthong

      i mean him and mitchell is one of the west’s most dangerous duos rn and wut makes the team even better is having apotential sixth man canidate, clarkson leading the second unit

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    He’ll be 34 in Oct. Now like you say he has been overpaid. But he’s worth something to Utah. Especially with them being contenders now.

  5. 2/30 with a club option for a 3rd year. If he really loves being in Utah, that’ll be a no brainer.

  6. Simmons>Russ

    Would make sense for him to return. He’s playing well now and fits the role perfectly next to Mitchell.
    I think a good fair deal would be 3 years (last year team option)
    Total 3 years 53mil

    Would be a great deal for Conley at 33

  7. People can believe he’s overpaid, but consensus overpaid players don’t get traded for valuable assets (vs being traded with valuable assets). Two 1st’s plus two lightly paid rotation players went to Memphis to get him.

    It’s also irrelevant what anyone thinks is “reasonable” since the market (and the NBA FA market is anything but a free market) will determine his salary, and that hasn’t materialized yet.

    Who is the last player with a similar resume that signed a contract with a Team Option? I can’t remember one. Why does Utah value control of Conley’s age 36 season so much that they’d use finite negotiating capital insisting on a Team Option?

  8. x%sure

    Conley is not perfect for his role, as Utah does not have a guard that is strong in defending bigger guards. Royce ONeill is a bit out of place at guard, Clarkson is all offense, Leonard is not big. Utah could be outbid for Conley next year.

  9. Lets also not forget that next season Jazz doesnt really have cap space once maximum salary contract for Mitchell and Gobert activates

  10. So he’s averaging 17/5 and people actually think he deserves to be an all-star?

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