Should the Phoenix Suns chase this former All-Star?

Devin Booker, Mike Conley, Phoenix Suns Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Devin Booker, Mike Conley, Phoenix Suns Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports /

With the re-signing of Deandre Ayton, the Phoenix Suns have reaffirmed their position as a strong contender in the Western Conference.

The Suns roster composition is starting to take shape, but there remains room for improvement as they set about making amends for their disappointing playoff exit at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

With the Phoenix Suns requiring more depth at the point-guard position, could they make a play for an experienced former All-Star?

The Suns point-guard duties lay on the shoulders of 37-year-old Chris Paul, with Cameron Payne providing the backup role off the bench.

Phoenix lost Aaron Holiday to the Atlanta Hawks, and while he’s still a free agent, it appears unlikely that they’ll bring back Elfrid Payton.

With a lack of point-guard depth at present, should the Suns take a look at the Utah Jazz’ former All-Star, Mike Conley?

The 34-year-old will likely become available as the Jazz seek to upend their franchise and slide down the standings. Having already traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, as well as Royce O’Neal to the Brooklyn Nets, they’ll now begin looking at deals for their other starters.

The biggest issue with Conley is his contract – over $22 million for each of the next two seasons. That’s a lot for Conley himself as a player, but it’s also a lot for someone who’d play a bench role within the Suns system.

Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul and Mike Conley, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

While Conley’s production has declined in recent years, he was still an All-Star in 2021. He remains a solid contributor capable of initiating a team’s offense, averaging 13.7 points and 5.3 assists last season while shooting over 40% from three on 5.8 attempts per game.

The next issue is what Phoenix will give up in return. As seen in the Gobert trade, Utah aren’t willing to give up their players without valuable compensation. Here’s how the deal could look:

"Phoenix Receive: Mike ConleyUtah Receive: Dario Saric, Landry Shamet, Unprotected 2025 First-Round Pick"

Saric and Shamet are salary filler to get up to Conley’s contract value. Both are replaceable for the Suns – the Croatian missed all of last season anyway, while the newly acquired Damion Lee could eat up some of Shamet’s minutes.

The beauty of Conley is that he’s a more than capable off-ball threat, having shot 41.4% on catch-and-shoot threes last season. This means he could play alongside Payne off the bench, and even spend time with Paul and Devin Booker in closing lineups.

Next. Bill Simmons ranks Devin Booker’s trade value as among league best. dark

Even if Conley isn’t the man for the Suns, the franchise does need to address their point-guard depth heading into next season.