LAS VEGAS (ABC4 Sports) – It has been common knowledge for weeks that the Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic would be joining the Utah Jazz. But this weekend, it became official.
The Jazz two biggest off-season acquisitions met the media for the first time Monday in Las Vegas, and both players are excited to see how good this team can be.
Conley, who had played his entire 12-year NBA career in Memphis, thought there was a strong possibility to join the Jazz at the trade deadline.
“Ultimately, full circle, I’m here,” said Conley, who was traded to the Jazz for Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen and two draft picks. “It didn’t work out in February, but I made it here and it’s going to be a great place for my family. My kids are in Salt Lake right now, my wife. They’re getting used to it, so we’re very excited.”
Bogdanovic, who is coming off a career-best season in Indiana, could have signed with any number of teams as a free agent. But he picked the Jazz because all the talent they’ve accumulated.
“It’s been a great free agency for all of us,” Bogdanovic said. “I’m so excited to be a part of this organization, culture and one of the deepest rosters in the league.”
“Us being able to make the trade for Mike first was a little bit of an accelerant for Bojan and his ability to see what it is going to be like to play for the Jazz, for Quin and with Mike, Donovan, Joe and Rudy in particular,” said Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey.
Then, factor in the additions of Jeff Green, Ed Davis and Emmanuel Mudiay and the Jazz have built their deepest roster in years.
“I’m really just excited to be amongst the culture the Jazz have already in place,” Conley said. “The foundation that is there, the players that are already there, I just want to fit in as seamlessly as possible.”
“There are many combinations [Snyder] can use during the games,” Bogdanovic said. “So, it’s going to be really fun for all of us.”
With nearly half the roster being re-tooled, it will take some time to build chemistry. But the Jazz are embracing the notion they can compete for a championship.
“It’s all you really want as an NBA player, really, is to be able to compete at a high level and give yourself opportunities to do great things,” said Conley, who has never played in the NBA Finals. “Right now, it’s just a breath of fresh air, a shot in the arm, and I’m just really ready to go.”
“Adding the right character, the right talent, having a great coach who can put all this together,” said Jazz general manager Justin Zanik. “We embrace the expectations because we’re trying to field the most competitive team that we can in pursuit for a championship.”