After another disappointing showing in the 2021-22 NBA Playoffs, the Utah Jazz could be on the verge of disbanding their core players in a bid to head in a new direction moving forward. According to Bleacher Report, one of those players would be Mike Conley who is already past his prime at age 34. Still, he served as a valuable contributor to the Jazz after averaging 13.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists through 72 games played in the regular season.
Currently, Conley is about to enter the second season of his three-year contract with the Jazz. In the case that the team decides to part ways with him in the near future, the veteran playmaker is still expected to attract a good number of suitors who are willing to arrange a trade to acquire his services. Despite his advancing age, he can still be a key piece in a contending squad for the 2022-23 season and beyond.
With that said, let’s take a look at the three best trade destinations for Mike Conley.
3 best trade destinations for Jazz veteran Mike Conley
3. Mike Conley-Celtics
The Boston Celtics may be the least likely out of all the teams listed here to pull off a trade, given that they are still in contention in the playoffs thus far. Despite not needing to make major changes to their roster at the moment, sending a package to acquire Conley’s services may just allow the team to play at a higher level next season.
In 2021-22, the Celtics settled with Marcus Smart being the primary ball-handler for the team. He manages to get things done for Boston though he’s still not a natural facilitator. And the team might need one if they want to have a better ball distribution among their players moving forward.
With Conley, they’ll have another elite defensive guard who can form a hard-hitting duo with Smart at the backcourt which can definitely bring matchup problems to opposing guards. In this case, the Celtics may have to ship players like Payton Pritchard and Derrick White if they are keen on acquiring Conley next season.
2. Mike Conley-Knicks
Another team that may benefit from having a veteran court general would be the New York Knicks. One of the problems that they had was Kemba Walker failing to play at his best due to injuries and chemistry issues. These then led him to be benched midway through the 2021-22 season.
New York then promoted Alec Burks as their starting point guard though he is best positioned at the two-guard spot. Derrick Rose also sees action from time to time though his production has been limited for the past few seasons. With the hole that they have at the point guard position, it would be a viable choice for them to go after Conley.
The Knicks have a ton of guards but the former All-Star can stabilize their offense better than any playmaker that they have right now. This will allow more ball-dominant players like RJ Barrett and Julius Randle to get their touches as they carry most of the team’s offensive load moving forward.
1. Mike Conley-Pelicans
Similar to the Knicks, the Pelicans don’t have a true point guard on their roster right now. Yes, they have backcourt players like Jose Alvarado and Herb Jones who had significant contributions but they’re mainly playing for defensive purposes. Meanwhile, CJ McCollum is better suited as a full-time shooting guard similar to his role with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Devonte’ Graham, whom they can potentially develop as an offensive-minded court general, only saw limited minutes in the playoffs. This leaves the Pelicans to seek a playmaker who can create plays and set up guys like Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson on the offensive end.
Despite not having a legitimate point guard, the team still managed to put up a fight in their first-round matchup against the Phoenix Suns in the 2021-22 playoffs. With how the players of New Orleans have been developing, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them go deep into the playoffs once they get to have a natural point guard leading their offense.