When the Utah Jazz traded Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in the offseason, it was assumed that Mike Conley Jr. would be the next domino to fall. Instead the Jazz opted to keeping him on the roster which was a surprise to many including Conley himself as per Mark Medina of NBA.com.

“I was just like everybody else,” Conley said. “I was waiting to get the phone call that I was going somewhere else.”

Now in his 16th season in the NBA, Conley has been part of a remarkable turnaround in Utah following the departure of the team’s two stars. The Jazz were expected to be a team firmly in the running for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes and instead they’ve been the surprise of the season.

With Mike Conley at the helm as the team’s starting point guard, the Jazz currently have a 12-6 record and sit in first place in the Western Conference standings. Only the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks have a better overall record.

Up until the end of training camp, Conley still wasn’t sure that he was going to remain with the team.

“I didn’t know who was going to be here, and if I was going to be here or not,” Conley said. “Once I knew I was going to be here at least to start the season, I focused on what I needed to focus on and get out there and play. Whatever happens, happens. But while I’m here, I’ll be as good as I can be and help this team as much as I can.”

On the season, Conley is averaging 10.2 points per game, 7.9 assists and is shooting 38.6 percent from the field. He was just dealt some unfortunate injury news, however, and the Jazz will be tasked with keeping their current pace without their floor leader.