Another major NBA domino has fallen.
The Memphis Grizzlies are trading point guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz for Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, the 23rd pick in Thursday’s draft and a protected first-round pick in 2020, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. The person spoke under the condition of anonymity because the trade had not yet been announced.
Conley, 31, is one of the best, most consistent point guards in the league, and his addition shows that Utah is looking to take another step forward in the now wide-open Western Conference. The Jazz have made the playoffs three years in a row, but they lost in the first round to Houston in April, winning just one game.
Conley, who signed a five-year, $153 million deal with Memphis in the summer of 2016, will be paired alongside rising star Donovan Mitchell in Utah’s backcourt. Conley missed most of the 2017-18 season with a heel injury, but returned last season and played in 70 contests, posting a career-high 21.1 points per game.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are in the midst of a rebuild, and they’re expected to select another point guard — Murray State star Ja Morant — in Thursday’s draft.
This marks the official end of the Grit-N-Grind era in Memphis, as Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen are all no longer with the organization. Conley has played all 12 of his NBA seasons in Memphis, and he leaves as the franchise leader in total points, assists, steals and games played.
Conley took to Twitter shortly after the news broke to thank Memphis.
He tweeted: “What more can I say about my city! You guys made me the man I am today! Memphis is home. Always! ..Time for another chapter! Excited to give all I have to The Jazz and Salt Lake City!”