UTAH JAZZ

Mike Conley Issues Goodbye To Utah, Jazz Fans

Feb 9, 2023, 3:02 PM | Updated: Feb 10, 2023, 10:30 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Mike Conley said goodbye to Utah Jazz fans with a Twitter post on Thursday. Conley played in Utah for four seasons and was selected to the All-Star team for the first time at the age of 33.

He was a part of the huge three-team trade that landed D’Angelo Russell in Los Angeles and Russell Westbrook in Utah.

The Timberwolves replaced Russell with Conley to improve on their playmaking and decision-making from the Point Guard position.

Conley will play with Anthony Edwards, Karl Anthony-Towns, and former teammate Rudy Gobert in Minnesota.

Mike Conley To Minnesota

The Jazz are sending Conley to Minnesota along with Nickeil Alexander-Walker, while Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt will be sent to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Timberwolves will ship Russell to the Lakers as Westbrook heads to the Jazz along with a top-4 protected 2027 first round pick.

Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski reported the deal shortly before the Jazz faced the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

According to Wojnarowski, the Jazz will also acquire Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones.

Conley, 35, was acquired by Utah in 2019 for Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Darius Bazely, and a first-round pick.

The veteran guard appeared in 213 games for the Jazz and made three trips to the Western Conference Playoffs.

Conley also earned his first All-Star appearance in 2021 in Atlanta joining teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. The Jazz finished with the best regular season record in the NBA that year.

The guard will rejoin Gobert in Minnesota after the Timberwolves completed a blockbuster trade for the All-Star center last July.

According to Wojnarowski, Minnesota will get a 2024 lesser of Washington-Memphis second-round pick. They will also get 2025 and 2026 second-round picks from the Jazz.

Jazz Get Another Pick

The prized piece in the Jazz trade is the 2027 pick from the Lakers that is top-4 protected.

With LeBron James entering the twilight of his career, the Jazz appear to be betting on the Lakers dropping deep into the lottery by 2027, potentially delivering a top-10.

Now, this draft pick is far from a sure thing.

For one, the Lakers are one of the few teams in the NBA that are regularly contenders to sign the league’s top free agents and can generally avoid the traditional rebuilding method that involves sinking to the bottom of the standings to land a top pick.

And, without owning the 2027 pick, they have no reason to sacrifice a year to improve their draft stock only to help the Jazz.

To make matters worse, the pick reportedly comes with a caveat.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, if the Lakers’ pick does land in the top four, they will hold onto the selection, and the Jazz compensation turns into a 2027 second-round pick.

That has the potential to be an enormous value for the Lakers and a terrible trade for the Jazz.

Regardless, the Jazz have another high-ceiling trade piece in the Lakers’ pick. They can possibly use the pick to acquire more talent or to move up in the draft.

In total, the Jazz own 15 first-round picks outright after Wednesday’s trade. Potentially a 16th depending on where they finish in the standings between 2024-2026 because of the Derrick Favors trade.

That’s a nearly unrivaled package of picks that will allow the Jazz to acquire significant talent in the coming seasons.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Mike Conley Issues Goodbye To Utah, Jazz Fans