The months leading to the 2022-23 training camp were likely filled with uncertainties for Utah Jazz veteran Mike Conley. The team's two previous stars, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, were dealt away, and it seemed like only a matter of time before the 12-year veteran was shown the door. Conley even said as much.
"I was just like everybody else," Conley told NBA.com. "I was waiting to get the phone call that I was going somewhere else."
Staying in Utah
As it turned out, the Jazz opted to hold on to the former NBA All-Star, and in hindsight, it was a great decision by the front office because Conley has proven to be instrumental in Utah's surprising 12-6 start.
While his scoring has been subpar (10.9 points per game on 39.5% shooting), the 35-year-old point guard has been what the doctor ordered for the upstart squad. The floor general is averaging a career-high 8.2 assists while turning the ball over just 1.6 times per contest.
Earlier this month, Conley ranked fourth in the passing efficiency metric, underscoring how elite his playmaking has been this season.
How long will he stay?
The question right now is if the 6-foot-1 point guard will remain a Jazz for the rest of the season and beyond. As great as he has been, it is still possible that the front office will trade him later for younger players or draft assets.
After all, the organization's CEO of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, has gained notoriety for his tanking during his time as a basketball executive. Funnily enough, he recently claimed that he has never built a tanking team, but many people around the league don't actually believe that.
As for Conley, he even implied that he is unsure of his future with the franchise.
"It doesn't change anything," the former No. 4 pick answered when asked if the front office has offered him clarity if he will eventually be traded. "From my perspective, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. Justin [Zanik] and Danny have been very transparent with everything. If something pops up, they'll let me know. But right now, I'm just focusing on the team. I love it. It's a great organization. Ryan [Smith] is great. Danny is great. Will Hardy has been awesome. So, we'll see."
Only time will tell what Utah will do with Conley. Whatever his future might hold, Jazz fans surely appreciate his impact on the organization and its promising prospects.