Mike Conley is re-signing with the Utah Jazz on a three-year, $72.5 million deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Conley first arrived in Utah during the 2019 offseason, when he was traded there by the Memphis Grizzlies. His first season with the Jazz was uneven, but the 2020-21 campaign was one of the most successful of his career.
Conley made his first All-Star Team as a member of the Jazz last season. In the process, he helped lead Utah to the best record in the NBA and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. They defeated his former team, the Grizzlies, in the first round, but a hamstring injury kept him out of the first five games of their second-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. He returned for Game 6, but the Jazz ultimately lost the game and the series to the Clippers despite the absence of Kawhi Leonard.
On the surface, that appeared to be Utah's best chance to win a championship. The Jazz are about to get significantly more expensive thanks to contract extensions kicking in for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. They were nearly at the luxury tax line before Conley even agreed to his new deal, but fortunately, the Jazz were able to trade Derrick Favors in order to save a bit of money. The Jazz will stay pay the tax this season barring unforeseen follow-up moves, but their bill will be substantially cheaper even with this new Conley deal accounted for.
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Even without Favors, making this sort of financial commitment in a market as small as Salt Lake City is rare. The Jazz are making a genuine push to overcome last season's disappointments and finally find the postseason success that has eluded this roster for years. That was never going to happen had Conley left, so getting this deal done was critical for their championship hopes.