Grade the Trade: Clippers could add Conley to boost best lineups

Mike Conley, Utah Jazz. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images /
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LA Clippers
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz and Terance Mann, LA Clippers. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images /

Would the Clippers make this trade?

When the chips are down in the NBA Playoffs, the ball will be in the hands of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for much of the time. That means that whatever point guard they have on the court will need to be able to toggle between initiating the offense and providing off-ball value. Mike Conley does that the best of any point guard likely available to the Clippers this deadline.

Conley is a 38.1 percent 3-point shooter for his career, well used to playing off of other high-volume on-ball stars. Most recently, he was a part of the league’s No. 1 offense playing off of Donovan Mitchell just two seasons ago. He is not only a good shooter, he has honed his ability to move off screens or slip into open space to bend defenses and grant himself open looks.

The defensive end of the court used to be Conley’s area of strength, and he has understandably fallen off a bit at the age of 35. Even still, he is a savvy defender with good instincts and good positioning, even if his athleticism and lateral quickness have taken a step back. He won’t kill the Clippers, even if he isn’t going to propel them.

Robert Covington is a good player but is often outside of the rotation, and Reggie Jackson is expendable if they bring in Mike Conley. This deal looks like a great one to make to boost the best lineups the Clippers can put onto the court, and for just a second and Covington it would be one to pull the trigger on.

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Grade: B+