While Kevin Durant is the big name potentially on the market, you’d be hard to find any other player more coveted by other general managers — and smart basketball fans — than Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley. He’s one of the best defenders in the league at the position, a smart floor general, he can knock down the three (36.3 percent), and he knows when and where to get his guys the ball.
All of those are reasons the Grizzlies want to keep him — and they should be the frontrunners to do just that. That said, there have been reports that he is “expected” to leave Memphis this summer.Which raised a lot of eyebrows because “expected” is a strong word that doesn’t seem to fit here.
Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace tried to shoot that latest rumor down, appearing on the Chris Vernon radio show in Memphis.
If the Grizzlies offer a five-year max deal — as they should — I’d put my money on Conley staying put. Conley worked hard to recruit Marc Gasol to stay last summer, and Conley said it would be very hard to do that then bolt town.
However, he will have options. The Knicks are rumored to have interest if he wants to go where there are bright lights and a big market (but also the triangle offense, the foe of many a point guard). A host of other teams are expected to get involved. The bidding will start at a max salary.
Don’t be shocked if Conley takes a meeting or three — who doesn’t like to be recruited? Then, in the end, I’d bet on him staying near Beale Street.