The Jazz could be closer to acquiring Mike Conley Jr.
Memphis has intensified discussions about potentially moving the 31-year-old guard and Utah is a “front-runner” to land him if he’s traded this week, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources. The Jazz also reportedly pursued Conley before the deadline but no deal was ultimately reached.
Conley averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists in 70 games for the Grizzlies last season. He shot 43.8% from the field and 36.4% from 3-point range.
The Grizzlies originally selected Conley out of Ohio State with the fourth pick in the 2007 draft and he has spent his entire career with the franchise. He has two seasons remaining on the five-year, $153 million extension he signed with Memphis in July 2016.
“When I signed back a couple years ago, that’s a thought that goes through your head that, ‘man, I could play in the same place for 14 or 15 years,” Conley said in January (via NBA.com). “That’d be awesome, and hopefully retire one day as a Grizzly. You also understand that in three, four years a lot can happen and a lot can change.
“Memphis is all I know. This is my home. I love everybody here and my teammates and the organization. I don’t know any better. This is new grounds for me, so we’ll just see how it plays out.”
The Grizzlies finished last season with a 33-49 record and missed the playoffs for a second straight season.
Memphis holds the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft and it is expected to select Murray State guard Ja Morant, which could make Conley expendable.
Conley has also been linked to the Celtics — if Kyrie Irving leaves the team this summer — and the Pacers.