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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Agents: Conley staying with Jazz on 3-year deal

The Utah Jazz accomplished their primary offseason goal, getting point guard Mike Conley to agree to a three-year, $72.5 million deal to re-sign with the team, his agents Steve Heumann and Jess Holtz told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday.

Conley took to social media to announce his official return, writing: “Blessed to continue this journey with the @utahjazz !!!!! #takenote #nowaybutup.”

Conley’s contract, combined with the five-year extensions for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell that kick in this season and are worth a combined $368 million, push the Jazz significantly into the luxury tax.

It’s a price new owner Ryan Smith is willing to pay to keep the Jazz’s window to contend open, although last week’s trade that sent backup center Derrick Favors and a future first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a future second-rounder and cash considerations was in large part financially motivated.

Conley finally made his first All-Star appearance last season, his 14th in the NBA, thriving during his second campaign with the Jazz. He averaged 16.2 points and 6.0 assists per game with a career-best .552 effective field goal percentage for the team that had the league’s best record in the regular season.

However, the 33-year-old Conley’s two seasons in Utah have been hampered by hamstring issues. He missed extended stretches during both seasons due to hamstring strains or tightness, which also forced Conley to sit out the first five games of this year’s Western Conference semifinals, a series the Jazz lost to the LA Clippers in six games.

Conley spent his first 12 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies after the franchise selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft. The five-year, $153 million deal Conley signed with Memphis in 2016 was briefly the largest contract in NBA history.

Conley was one of the faces of the Grizzlies’ “Grit ‘n Grind” era, joining Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen to form the group known as the “Core Four.”

They made Memphis a perennial playoff team, peaking with a trip to the 2013 West finals. Shortly after the rebuilding Grizzlies traded Conley to the Jazz in 2019, Memphis owner Robert Pera announced that the franchise would retire Conley’s No. 11 and put it in the FedExForum rafters after his playing career ends.


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