Utah Jazz mailbag: What happens when guard Mike Conley returns?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Greetings to Jazz Nation from the nation’s Capitol. Once again I’ve dug into the mailbag and will attempt to answer some of the questions you fine people have submitted.

Mike Conley will eventually return from injury and when he does, a lot of you are wondering what will happen.

#SundayJazzMailbag question: What happens to the rotation when Conley comes back? Joe & Royce both need minutes IMHO for different reasons. Joe is great with the starters & Royce is a tremendous defender. How does the team deal with that?

— Shawn Beecher (@sbchrjazzbyufan) January 10, 2020 Mike Conley is not going to come off the bench. Let’s start there, because I did get some questions about whether or not the success of the Jazz lately would dictate Conley starting or not. I do not believe it will have any bearing on his place in the starting unit.

I think the most likely candidate to go to the bench when Conley comes back is Royce O’Neale. The reason is purely because the pick-and-roll chemistry between Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles has been superb as of late. But, I wouldn’t put it past Quin Snyder to switch that up in the future depending on matchups. If there’s a tough defensive assignment at the 3-4 spot, then it might make sense to have O’Neale on the floor rather than Ingles in those situations. For all intents and purposes though, I believe it will be O’Neale who slides down to make room for Conley.

The way that Snyder decides to stagger minutes outside the beginning of each half could end up being a bit of an experiment, but it does stand to reason that because Gobert is less reliant on Donovan Mitchell that it will likely be Gobert, Ingles and Conley working together while Mitchell gets more run with some of the bench plus Bojan Bogdanovic. Conley’s return will also eat into Emmanuel Mudiay’s minutes and probably eliminate Rayjon Tucker from the rotation, but Mudiay will still contribute and Tucker was only getting spot minutes anyway.

Favorite Jazz jersey so far? #SundayJazzMailbag

— JazzUniTracker® (26-12) (@JazzUniTracker) January 11, 2020 Listen, there is one clear correct answer and I’m not about to get all hot-takey for no reason. The purple mountain jerseys are the best and quite honestly one of the better fits in the league. They’re great. That’s that.

Though, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the orange sunset city edition jerseys. I’ve seen some rumblings on Twitter about Jazz fans not liking these and I don’t get it. Do you not like sunsets? Sunrises? The orangey desert colors that represent joy? For me, this is a close second.

Do the Jazz get 0, 1 or 2 all-stars and who? #SundayJazzMailbag

— JazzJunky (@Jazz_Junky) January 10, 2020 If I had to bet, I would say there is a strong possibility of Mitchell making the All-Star team but I wouldn’t feel comfortable going much further than that.

The early returns on fan voting do not look great for Rudy Gobert, which I think is an unfair representation of the best front court players in the West, but I’m not one of the people voting, so really it’s up to you guys to get those numbers up.

@NBASarah The Jazz are now 8-0 since you joined as a beat writer. Is this the longest streak of wins since debut for a beat writer in Jazz history? #SundayJazzMailbag #TakeNote

— Headband Joe Appreciation Society (@headband_joe) January 11, 2020 It’s true, the Jazz have been on quite the run since I arrived on the scene.

Feel free to give me all the credit for the wins and send your hate mail my way if things start to sour. Clearly there is a correlation. But I certainly respond better to praise.

And finally, a question I’m sure you’re all thinking and asking on a daily basis:

How can we get more Jazz content?

Thanks for asking. You can send your mailbag questions to me via email at with “mailbag” in the subject line or submit your questions on Twitter with the hashtag #SundayJazzMailbag. I’ll answer questions here in the weekly mailbag article and also I’ll be saving a couple special questions for the weekly Jazz Insiders newsletter.

What’s the Jazz Insiders newsletter and how do I get it?

It’s a weekly dose of Jazz news and info delivered straight to your email on Thursday evenings and written by yours truly. You can sign up by heading over to .