NBA Writer: Mike Conley "The Missing Piece" For Jazz

If the Jazz weren't contenders before, they are now with Mike Conley, Reid Forgrave says

Reiter Than You
June 19, 2019 - 8:52 pm
Mike Conley Jr.

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The Memphis Grizzlies traded Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday – a major addition for a team that has made the playoffs three years in a row.

“This is the missing piece for them – or at least it can be the missing piece for them,” NBA writer Reid Forgrave said on Reiter Than You. “You hear people say, ‘Mike Conley is over the hill.’ No, not at all. He had his best offensive season (last year). He’s still a player.”

Conley, 31, averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game last season to go with 6.4 assists – his most since 2012.

“He’s still in – or at least only slightly past – his prime,” Forgrave said. “That’s what the Jazz needed. They needed a secondary creator next to Donovan Mitchell. Donovan Mitchell shouldered so much of the burden for that team.”

Mitchell, 22, averaged 23.8 points, 4.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds last season. He was the only player on the Jazz to average at least 16.0 points.

“I love Donovan Mitchell,” Forgrave said. “I think he’s going to be an All-Star sooner instead of later, but he can’t do it all. And now what you have is one of the best defensive teams in the NBA adding a great locker room guy, adding a guy in Mike Conley who people enjoy being around, a guy that adds to what I think is a great Utah Jazz culture. Yeah, they sacrificed some depth here, but I really, really like what that team has, especially in the West. The runway is pretty clear in the West. At least that’s the way it seems heading into free agency.”

The Jazz have won 50+ games in two of the last three seasons. They last reached the NBA Finals in 1998.

Click below to listen to Forgrave's interview in its entirety.