The Western Conference has some movers and shakers this offseason!
Wednesday’s trade between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies was the second NBA offseason bomb, happening just days after the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Anthony Davis.
Jazz get: Mike Conley
Grizzlies get: Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, this year’s No. 23 pick, and a protected 2020 first-round pick
Now, let the chatter of the 2019-20 season begin with how tough the Western Conference is going to be and how it’s currently wide open with the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors.
Pairing Conley with young rising star Donovan Mitchell sounds like a pretty dynamic duo.
This new Jazz backcourt will most likely be in consideration for one of the best backcourts in the league next season.
Could this duo make some serious noise in the postseason next year?
It’s very possible.
And it looks, like Conley is ready for this next chapter.
What more can I say about my city! You guys made me the man I am today! Memphis is home. Always! 🙌🏾🙌🏾..Time for another chapter! Excited to give all I have to The Jazz and Salt Lake City! 😁#LetsGetIt #GodsPlan #takenote 💪🏾
What more can I say about my city! You guys made me the man I am today! Memphis is home. Always! 🙌🏾🙌🏾..Time for another chapter! Excited to give all I have to The Jazz and Salt Lake City! 😁#LetsGetIt #GodsPlan #takenote 💪🏾— Mike Conley (@MCONLEY10) June 19, 2019
The Jazz made the playoffs this year, finishing as the fifth best team in the Western Conference while winning 50 games, but lost 4-1 to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. That was a bit of a letdown after a their big run to the Western Conference semifinals one season prior.
Thus, what does this mean for the Trail Blazers, who finished third in the West with a 53-29 record this season?
With Memphis, Conley gave Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard and Portland as a team some trouble.
Since Lillard came into the league in 2012, Conley and the Grizzlies own a 16-7 overall record including three playoff wins over the Blazers with Lillard running the show.
Lillard is a more consistent scoring threat, averaging 4.7 points per game more than Conley, but many would say Conley is the better passer and definitely the better defender.
In their 23 meetings, head-to-head, Conley wins in the assists and steals categories as having a total number of more games with better stats than the other player.
Of course, Lillard wins the age category at this point in his career. Conley will turn 32 on Oct. 11th. And then there’s the injury aspect.
Is Conley injury prone?
He played in just 12 games in 2017-18 because of a left heel injury that eventually required season-ending surgery. However, Conley returned last season to play 70 games while scoring a career-best 21.1 points per game. He was also just off his career highs with 6.4 assists per game and averaged 1.3 steals per game.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are in full rebuild mode, so of course, the Blazers will need to keep an eye on them in the future. Memphis is expected to select another point guard in Murray State star Ja Morant with their No. 2 overall pick.
The West is shaking things up that’s for sure.
Could the Blazers package a trade deal with their No. 25 pick on Thursday night?
Portland fans sure hope so.
The 2019 Draft could be very interesting, and not because of the picks, but because of more potential trades.
Is it Thursday at 4pm PT yet?