Houston Rockets: The 5 best basketball fits for John Wall - #3: Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz are in a precarious spot. They just had the best record in the NBA but a second-round defeat to a short-handed Clippers team raises serious questions about their future.
A massively understated reason for their early playoff exit was the health of Mike Conley. Conley, by multiple advanced metrics, was the Utah Jazz’s second-best player behind Rudy Gobert. Most people in the general public would argue that Donovan Mitchell was their best player, but while he is definitely their best scorer the rest of his game lags behind.
In fact, what made the Jazz such a dominant regular-season team is what inevitably doomed them in the playoffs. Their three All-Stars abilities complimented each other perfectly. Conley facilitated the offense and spearheaded the defense, Gobert screened-and-rolled on offense and walled off the paint at historic levels, and Mitchell provided isolation scoring when needed. When Conley suffered a hamstring injury and was limited it threw a wrench into a well-oiled machine.
Mike Conley is now a free agent and at 33-years-old the Jazz may give pause to committing four years to him. The Jazz know they need a primary facilitator to get the best out of both Mitchell and Gobert but do they really want to tie their future to a player headed out of their prime when Gobert, at 28, and Mitchell, at 24, have at least four to five more elite seasons left.
Even if the Jazz lose Conley, they still have most of the players that fueled their top-five 3-point shooting, and Rudy Gobert all but guarantees an elite defense. The one thing the Jazz need is a primary facilitator to keep everyone grooving in rhythm. Chances are they’ll do what it takes to bring back Conley, but if they fail then Wall becomes an attractive option.