BREAKING: Grizzlies trade Mike Conley to Utah Jazz

Memphis receives Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder and draft picks, including 23rd pick in 2019 NBA Draft.

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There are two notorious NBA journalists known for breaking news before anyone else: ESPN’s Andrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania. And BOTH are reporting that the Memphis Grizzlies have finally pulled the trigger on a Mike Conley trade, sending the beloved point guard to the Utah Jazz.

And Conley’s latest tweet seals it:


 

 

Quick Reax:

Y’all want me to keep it “one hunnet?” I have to scrap the column I was writing for this week: “The Case for Keeping Mike Conley.” The team REALLY should consult me on these important decisions. For whatever it’s worth now, the gist of my piece was that in the now wide open Western Conference, the Grizzlies could ride last season’s momentum perhaps to some playoff success — especially led by Conley. There was no rush to trade him in my opinion.

Now, of course, we look forward. Conley’s departure completely clears the way for Ja Morant to play immediately, if not start. Grayson Allen might turn into something, but he joins an already crowded perimeter rotation; he’ll have to fight for minutes.

The incoming veterans, Korver and Crowder, each bring needed dimensions. Even in his 16th season, he’s capable of knocking down spot up three-pointers. And anyone who reminisces about those rough and tumble Grizzlies of yore will like Crowder. He’s a very tough 3 and D type player.

Overall, it’s not a bad deal, and lately we’ve been seeing the hangover from that free agency bonanza that Conley kicked off with his $153 million contract — namely the challenges of trying to trade such a hefty contract. And Conley is on a playoff caliber team, so there’s that.

The move also clears some cap space while giving the Grizzlies some roster flexibility. That counts for something. I doubt they’re done moving pieces around, and won’t be surprised if there’s a significant trade on Draft night or in the wee hours before sunrise.

But probably the biggest takeaway is this: Conley was the last tie to the glorious “Core Four” era. Chris Wallace is no longer calling shots as GM. And Chandler Parsons, who only arrived in 2016, is now your longest tenured Grizzly. So it’s official in every way:

These are NOT your Father’s Grizzlies.