Thursday's NBA Draft may have just become much less interesting for the Utah Jazz but, in its place, the 2019-20 season will have all kinds of high hopes and expectations.
The Jazz traded three players and two draft picks to acquire Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Mike Conley, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.
The Jazz send Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver and Grayson Allen to Memphis, as well as Thursday's No. 23 overall draft pick and a future first-round pick, according to reports.
The deal was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. By league rules, the teams cannot make the trade official until July 6.
Conley is due to make $66 million over the next two seasons. Those years coincide with budding star Donovan Mitchell reaching the conclusion of his rookie contract and the years prior to Rudy Gobert, who is likely to be named the NBA's defensive player of the year for the second straight season Monday, becoming eligible for a "supermax" contract.
Conley, a 12-year veteran out of Ohio State University, averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game to go with 6.4 assists last season, and is a career 37.5% 3-point shooter.
"Excited to give all I have to The Jazz and Salt Lake City!" Conley tweeted after the news broke, adding his appreciation to Memphis for his tenure there.
The deal makes possible for Utah to exercise its $16.9 million team option on the longest-tenured Jazz player, forward Derrick Favors, to keep him for the coming season.
The Jazz also appear to hold on to young but oft-injured guard Dante Exum in hopes his potential comes to fruition. He was thought to be a required piece in such a trade for Conley when it was rumored in February at the trade deadline. Now, Memphis landed the No. 2 overall draft pick which it is likely to use on star college guard Ja Morant.
The move almost certainly means Ricky Rubio will be elsewhere next season, even after he averaged 12.7 points and 6.1 assists for the Jazz this season. Pairing Conley with rising star Donovan Mitchell figures to give the Jazz one of the best backcourts in the league next season and would seem to bolster Utah's chances in a rapidly changing Western Conference.
It's the second major trade in the West since the NBA Finals ended last week, the first being the move sending Anthony Davis from New Orleans to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. And the five-time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors won't have Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant for much, if not all, of next season because of injuries — and it remains a possibility that at least Durant will sign elsewhere this summer.
The Grizzlies traded away the final piece of the franchise's best years in the deal.
Conley was the final piece of the core that led the Grizzlies to seven consecutive playoff berths, including the 2013 Western Conference Finals. Zach Randolph and Tony Allen left in 2017 as free agents, and Memphis traded Marc Gasol to Toronto in February, splitting up a duo that had been the NBA's longest-tenured teammates. Gasol went on to help the Raptors win their first NBA title.
He leaves Memphis with a handful of franchise records, including most games played (788). Conley, who turns 32 on Oct. 11, played only 12 games in 2017-18 because of a painful left heel that needed season-ending surgery. But he returned this last season to play 70 games and scored a career-best 21.1 points per game.
The Grizzlies are busy rebuilding after drafting Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth overall pick last year, with Morant the likely pick to be Conley's replacement. Memphis hired its new coach, Taylor Jenkins, last week.
The Jazz also have until July 6 to decide on Favors' team option.
Beyond a likely starting five of Conley, Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Favors and Gobert, the Jazz appear to enter next season with Exum at backup point guard and swingman Royce O'Neale as a sixth man.
A report from Associated Press reporter Teresa M. Walker was included in this story.