This was ultimately both feared and expected, but Memphis was holding out hope that things would be different.
When point guard Mike Conley went out with Achilles tendonitis in early March is was reported he would be out three to four weeks, which would have him back for the playoffs. However, the team was going to be cautious — they already lost Mario Chalmers to a ruptured Achilles this season and didn’t want to put a star point guard heading into free agency at risk.
Now comes word from Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal that Conley is done for the season and playoffs.
The Commercial Appeal independently confirmed that Conley was re-evaluated last week by team doctors. It was determined that it is in Conley’s best interest to not return to action until the 2016-17 season.
Barring a miraculous recovery by the time the postseason begins, Conley still walks with a limp, experiences soreness in the Achilles and requires a walking boot. The franchise and Conley, who will be a free agent this summer, are taking a cautious approach to his long-term future.
As they should.
This is not going to diminish Conley’s value on the free agent market this summer. He has said it would be hard to leave Memphis — he worked hard to recruit Marc Gasol to stay last summer — and Memphis can offer the most money if they max him out. However, the New York Knicks among others are known to be interested and will make a run at Conley come July 1.