Mike Conley trade makes Celtics' options even worse


Perhaps the most intriguing option to replace the seemingly departed Kyrie Irving at point guard is no longer available. The Grizzlies traded star point guard Mike Conley Wednesday to the Jazz in exchange for Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen and two first-round picks, including the No. 23 overall selection this year, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Conley, 31, had been with the Grizzlies since they took him No. 4 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft. He helped lead Memphis to seven consecutive playoff appearances from 2011-17, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals. 

Boston was reportedly interested in Conley, who has two years and $67 million remaining on his contract. With Al Horford likely signing elsewhere, the Celtics would’ve possessed the cap space to acquire Conley, given they also would’ve sent salary to Memphis.

Durability is the biggest question facing Conley going forward. He’s failed to appear in 80 games for six straight seasons, only playing in 12 contests two years ago due to a heel injury.

But with Irving and Horford expected to exit, Conley would’ve provided some needed offense and veteran experience to the starting lineup. Judging by Utah’s package, it’s unlikely the Celtics would’ve been forced to surrender Jayson Tatum for Conley, though the Grizzlies may have asked for Jaylen Brown. 

With Conley off the market, the other big-ticket trade target for Boston is Bradley Beal. He also has two years left on his contract, and averaged 25.6 points per game for Washington last season.