The Utah Jazz traded for Mike Conley last summer with the hope that pairing him with Donovan Mitchell would give them a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and contending for a title in the 2019-20 NBA season. Unfortunately, since the campaign started, he has been a huge disappointment and is seemingly having a hard time adjusting to Jazz head coach Quin Snyder’s system. If his performance fails to improve significantly during the 2020 playoffs, rumors are swirling that Utah may consider trading Conley in the coming offseason.
According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, one of the teams who could express interest in acquiring Conley from the Jazz this summer is the Chicago Bulls. In the proposed deal, the Bulls would be offering a package including Otto Porter Jr. and Denzel Valentine to Utah in exchange for the veteran point guard.
Conley may be struggling with the Jazz, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he no longer has any gas left in his tank. Though he wouldn’t make them an instant title contender in the Eastern Conference, Hughes believes that the potential arrival of Conley in Chicago would offer the Bulls a realistic chance of ending their playoff drought in the 2020-21 NBA season.
“It may be over for Conley, whose play with the Utah Jazz this season has been beyond disappointing. But the Chicago Bulls need a point guard, and because they continually prioritize making the playoffs, it’s worth taking a risk on the veteran with a challenge trade like this. Assuming Conley doesn’t exercise his early termination option, he’ll collect a whopping $34.5 million next season. But that’ll be the final year of his deal, which means the Bulls are only in for short-term pain if this experiment doesn’t work out.”
Though he’s no longer in his prime, Conley would still be a great addition to the Bulls. He would not only address their problem at the point guard position, but he would also give them a very reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. Being traded to Chicago could also help Conley return to his old self. Unlike in Utah where he’s playing alongside a ball-dominant superstar like Mitchell, he would be sharing the Bulls’ backcourt with Zach LaVine — a player who can excel in an off-ball capacity.
If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Bulls but also for the Jazz. The potential departure of Conley would enable Snyder to use Mitchell and Joe Ingles as his permanent backcourt starters, while the arrival of Porter Jr. and Valentine could make them a more competitive team in the 2020-21 NBA season. Porter Jr. would give the Jazz another wingman with size, while Valentine provides them with a shooter that is a good fit with Snyder’s pass- and movement-heavy system.