Mike Conley

NBA Rumors: Celtics target Mike Conley traded from Grizzlies to Jazz

NBA Rumors: Celtics target Mike Conley traded from Grizzlies to Jazz

If Kyrie Irving leaves the Boston Celtics in free agency, Mike Conley won't be replacing him.

The Memphis Grizzlies have traded their veteran point guard to the Utah Jazz for a haul that includes former Celtics forward Jae Crowder, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday. The Athletic's Shams Charania was the first to report the pending deal.

The deal will become official July 6 after free agency begins, per Wojnarowski.

Conley, who's set to make $32.5 million next season, reportedly was on the Celtics' radar as they prepare for life without Irving. Instead, the 31-year-old is heading to Utah, which likely means Ricky Rubio will depart in unrestricted free agency.

The Grizzlies appear to be in full rebuilding mode after dealing the face of their franchise. That's good news for Boston, which owns Memphis' 2020 first-round pick that could convert to an unprotected first-rounder in 2021 if the Grizzles' 2020 pick lands in the top six.

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NBA trade rumors: Celtics "will be in on" Grizzlies star Mike Conley

NBA trade rumors: Celtics "will be in on" Grizzlies star Mike Conley

The Boston Celtics will need to find a new starting point guard if Kyrie Irving leaves the franchise in NBA free agency over the coming weeks, and one option for the C's to consider is making a trade for Memphis Grizzlies star Mike Conley.

The Grizzlies point guard has been linked to trade rumors for months, and those reports have surfaced with more frequency ever since Memphis won the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft lottery, which gives them the chance to select Murray State's Ja Morant as the team's new point guard of the future.

The Athletic's Jordan Brenner reported Tuesday an update on Conley's situation, and that Boston will at least be in the mix for his services.

The Celtics will be in on Mike Conley, but Utah, Indiana and Detroit are all lining up trade offers too. And they’ll likely have the full mid-level exception to work with, which starts at $9.2 million. They could use that to add a veteran point guard to pair with Rozier—Darren Collison, Delon Wright, Patrick Beverley and Tomas Satoransky could be available at that price range, while Cory Joseph should come cheaper. If they end up dealing frontcourt pieces for Beal or Conley, and Marcus Morris walks, they could use the midlevel to land a forward from a group that includes Ariza, Gay, Maxi Kleber, Al-Farouq Aminu and Rodney Hood, says a league source.

Conley is a good player and had a solid season for a disappointing Grizzlies team in 2018-19. He averaged 21.1 points, 6.4 assists and shot 36.4 percent from 3-point range. 

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The problem with Conley is two-fold. He'll be 32 years old in October, and his contract is not team friendly. He's set to make a little more than $32 million next season, and he has a player option for 2020-21 worth more than $34 million, per Spotrac.

Conley has never averaged seven or more assists per game in a season, and he's scored 20-plus points per game in just two seasons. The 12-year veteran has shot better than 40 percent from 3-point land only twice. The Celtics shouldn't give up valuable trade assets for a 31-year-old veteran who's not a great shooter or playmaker and also makes a ton of money. It just doesn't make much sense. Re-signing backup point guard Terry Rozier is a better option for Boston than pursuing Conley. 

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NBA Rumors: Grizzlies' Mike Conley trade talks heating up; Jazz a front-runner

NBA Rumors: Grizzlies' Mike Conley trade talks heating up; Jazz a front-runner

Anthony Davis was the first NBA trade domino to fall. Could Mike Conley be next?

The Memphis Grizzlies "are intensifying talks" to potentially trade their veteran point guard, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Monday.

While Conley hasn't been tied to the Celtics, the 31-year-old could be on Boston's radar if Kyrie Irving departs in free agency and Terry Rozier goes elsewhere in restricted free agency.

But Charania reports Memphis has "been in conversations" with the Utah Jazz, who are "a front-runner" to land Conley if the Grizzlies trade him before Thursday's NBA Draft.

Conley is set to make $32.5 million next season, so any team would need to clear serious cap space to acquire him. A Conley trade with Boston would involve the Celtics moving either Gordon Hayward or Al Horford, or the far-fetched option of a sign-and-trade with Irving.

If the Jazz do trade for Conley, it essentially guarantees current point guard Ricky Rubio will sign elsewhere in unrestricted free agency. Rubio recently mentioned Boston as a potential free-agent destination, so Conley-to-Utah might add more fuel to that fire as the Celtics explore their options after missing out on Anthony Davis.

Either way, the C's will be monitoring Memphis' movements closely, as Boston owns the Grizzlies' first-round pick in 2020 that transfers to an unprotected first-rounder in 2021 if they land a top-six pick.

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