So, come July 6, the Jazz’s trade with the Grizzlies will be official, Mike Conley will be the toast of the local fandom, and those players either sent toccccccccccccccccccccccccc in exchange or allowed to leave in free agency as a result will be remembered fondly for their roles in ushering in this new era of on-court prosperity.
Now, what were their names, again?
Ricky Rubio was a steady and beloved locker room presence. Jae Crowder’s fiery, passionate aggression gave the team a much-needed edginess. Kyle Korver’s second stint in the Beehive State revived latent loyalties to the sharpshooter. And while we hardly got to know Grayson Allen, his raw abilities earned him a faction of devoted die-hards.
They will, in fact, be missed.
But how much?
The team has earned myriad plaudits for landing the point guard without having to surrender defensive stalwart Derrick Favors and perpetual enigma Dante Exum. But what about the cost of what was given up? Might it prove to be more than we potentially realize at the moment?
The rationale for getting Conley is apparent — it’s been well-established that his skills are myriad. Even if, at age 31, he has lost half a step, he’s still incredibly proficient scoring and passing in the pick-and-roll; his midrange game is outstanding, and features a defense-beguiling off-hand floater; he is a sufficiently capable and consistent deep threat to represent an upgrade over his predecessor; and defensively, he is system-sound and generally disinclined to freelance and gamble.