Grade the Trade: Clippers add former All-Star point guard

Reggie Jackson and Ty Lue, LA Clippers. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
Reggie Jackson and Ty Lue, LA Clippers. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images /
3 of 3
LA Clippers
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images /

Grading the trade for the Clippers

Mike Conley is having a great season for the Jazz, well-cast at his age playing the facilitator role alongside a dynamic offensive hub in Lauri Markkanen and an on-ball go-to scorer in Jordan Clarkson. Conley can push in transition, get the offense going by getting off the ball early, and move off-ball to warp defenses and, if he gets the ball back, attack in advantage situations.

That’s a similar role to what Conley can play on the Clippers alongside Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and his shooting make him a much better off-ball threat than either the streaky Reggie Jackson or the low-percentage Wall. He’s also a smart defender and has been to war in the postseason for 73 career games.

Giving up Reggie Jackson is a must for any real return in a point guard deal, but the downside of trading for Conley is that the Clippers have to trade Wall as well and can’t use his salary in another deal for a backup center. Otherwise, they can start Conley at point guard and Terence Mann as the backup 1 defensively and be just fine moving both of their current point guards.

Trading a first-round pick in 2028 is also likely necessary for any meaningful upgrade, and the Clippers have to be looking at win-now trades given the age, health, and unpredictability of their stars. Mike Conley is probably the best point guard on the market that the Clippers can add without breaking up their rotation and he fits this team exceptionally well.

Grade: B+