The Toronto Raptors may not have been able to reel in Donovan Mitchell after such a long trade saga, but the trade did signal that the Utah Jazz are open for business and willing to trade any of their veteran assets. Point guard Mike Conley will likely be on the move in his 16th season.
Conley, who spent the last three seasons with the Jazz after 12 in Memphis, remains an efficient scorer and quality passer. While his points per game average has dipped since joining Utah, that can be attributed to a reduced volume of shots and the slower pace of Quin Snyder’s offense.
The Raptors’ lack of a true backup point guard (barring Malachi Flynn or Dalano Banton stepping on the gas) has been an often belabored point during the offseason. If they want to get a veteran player who can make a legit impact at that position, trading for Conley might be their most prudent move.
While Otto Porter Jr. was nominally signed to be the top perimeter bench scorer on this team, trading for Conley would give Toronto two starting-caliber point guards with a wealth of postseason experience between them. The big question is what Utah’s price will be.
Will the Toronto Raptors get Mike Conley?
Conley averaged 14.7 points and 5.6 assists per game over the last two seasons, one of which saw him make his first All-Star team. Making 44% of his shots and not turning the ball over much impressive, but his 41% 3-point percentage shows that he has evolved into a true perimeter weapon.
Toronto might need to adjust their rotation in order to accommodate Conley, but he would be such a dynamic bench sparkplug that the Raptors could go from the league’s worst to middle of the road, at the very least, next season. Conley can still be a productive player even if age saps his athleticism.
The concern around Conley is his age, as paying top draft picks for someone who is going to turn 35 could end up biting Toronto if they are not immediately successful. Matching more than $20 million in salary could prove tough, meaning a third team will likely need to be involved.
The Raptors have to be aware of the fact that they have some holes on the roster that could lead to some disappointment in the postseason against elite teams. Getting a veteran who could shoot the lights out and has been a genuinely impactful scorer for more than a decade like Conley makes sense, even if the price is a bit questionable.