Now that Mike Conley‘s contract situation is worked out, he’s focused on helping the Jazz win a championship, writes John Coon of The Associated Press. Conley received interest from multiple teams before agreeing to a three-year, $68MM contract to stay in Utah.
“Last year had a disappointing end to it,” he said. “But all the strides we’ve made along the way allow us to come into this season still chasing that championship — that ultimate goal. And it’s something that’s truly attainable. Something we can grasp. We’re right there. We’re knocking on the door.”
Conley also addressed the hamstring issue that caused him to miss five of the six games in the second-round series with the Clippers, saying he’s making progress toward a full recovery.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Jazz haven’t historically been a popular destination for free agents, but that may be changing after the team’s success last season, per Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. In addition to keeping Conley, Utah was able to sign veteran free agents Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside. “A lot of really, really good teams were coming after me and wanted me to be there but I think this team was the team that had the most need for what I can do,” Gay said in his introductory press conference. “The culture, the ownership group is great, coach Quin (Snyder) is great. They really sold me on it.”
- The Thunder announced in a press release on Tuesday that Nick Collison has been hired to the team’s front office, having been named a special assistant to general manager Sam Presti. According to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link), Eric Maynor is also moving from the OKC Blue staff to the Thunder as a player development coach, while Anthony Morrow has been hired as a lifestyle services and engagement associate.
- The $27.5MM+ trade exception the Thunder created in last fall’s Steven Adams trade has now expired. As Bobby Marks of ESPN (Instagram video) observes, it’s not a big loss for Oklahoma City, since the team can still create up to $32MM in cap room by renouncing the rest of its exceptions if it so chooses.
- Incoming Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore continue to do the media rounds, speaking to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic about how their partnership with Glen Taylor will work for the next couple years, and talking to Shams Charania of Stadium (video link) about their commitment to Minnesota.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.