SALT LAKE CITY – One day after reporting the Utah Jazz may prefer to hold onto Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell ahead of the 2022-23 season, Jake Fischer said Mike Conley is the piece most likely to get traded this summer.
In a conversation on the Zone Sports Network Thursday, Fischer told Patrick Kinahan that the Jazz could find a suitable trade market for Conley.
“We definitely talked a lot about Mike Conley trade destinations,” Fischer said, “and I feel like he’s the piece that’s probably the most likely to go out the door based on conversations I’ve had.”
Fischer reported Wednesday that with Salt Lake City hosting the 2023 NBA All-Star game, Jazz owner Ryan Smith prefers to have two stars in Utah for the showcase event.
But, if the Jazz were to keep Mitchell and Gobert, they’d look to adjust the roster using other players on the team.
“League personnel speak far more certainly of the Jazz looking to explore moving complementary pieces such as wings Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale,” Fischer wrote Wednesday. “That could introduce All-Star point guard Mike Conley into an interesting point guard market that seems to be developing this summer.”
He elaborated on that report, and a potential Conley trade with Kinahan on Thursday.
“I don’t think he has the highest trade value of him, Bogdanovic, and Royce O’Neale,” Fischer said of Conley. “But I think he’s got the easiest role that could be cut from the Jazz rotation.”
Conley is just 14 months removed from being named a Western Conference All-Star but struggled in this year’s opening-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks.
The veteran guard averaged just 9.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 33 percent from the floor and 20 percent from the three-point line.
“There are some teams like New York and the Clippers and the Wizards who definitely are going to be in need of point guard help,” Fischer said. “And his salary isn’t exorbitant at $21 million, and it’s partially guaranteed for the 2023-24 season, so it’s a pretty reasonable deal.”
Conley will turn 35 shortly before the opening night of the 2022-23 NBA season.