The report comes on the heels of a pair of similar stories from Tuesday. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote that league executives believe Conley is most likely to remain in Utah, while Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said there’s a “strong belief” around the league that the Jazz will be able to shed some salary and make Conley a substantial offer.
The Mavericks have been cited repeatedly as one team expected to show interest in Conley, but their focus is said to be more on Kyle Lowry, which perhaps reflects their belief that Lowry will be more attainable.
As we outlined in our preview of Utah’s offseason, the team is already on the hook for nearly $130M in guaranteed salary for nine players. Even if Conley is willing to take a pay cut after earning $34.5M last season, a reasonable deal for him (perhaps in the neighborhood of $20M+ per year) would push the Jazz way into luxury tax territory.
Virtually all of Utah’s biggest contracts belong to productive rotation players, so if the club wants to trim salary, it may come at the cost of a regular contributor. The Jazz have reportedly explored trades involving Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, and Derrick Favors.
Multiple reports have suggested the team could end up attaching this year’s No. 30 pick to Favors in a cost-cutting deal. Since Favors’ contract (two years, $20M) isn’t especially unwieldy, it’s possible Utah could get a less expensive rotation player back in such a deal, though that’s just my speculation.
Here are a few more notes on the Jazz: