Report: Mike Conley to travel with Grizzlies, not expected to play in Game 1


In a series where your team has to defend Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, you need all your elite perimeter defenders on hand.

Which is why the following is bad news for the Grizzlies heading into Game 1 on the road, via Gary Parish of

That is not a definitive no, but it isn’t likely he goes in Game 1 Sunday.

Conley suffered three facial fractures from an inadvertent elbow from C.J. McCollum in the last round, and on Monday had surgery to put two steel plates in his face to secure the bones. So, you can forgive him for missing some games. He was at the closeout Game 5 but his face was still very swollen. The rumor has been the Grizzlies hoped to have him back by Game 3 of this series, but there is no timetable. Less Conley means more Beno Udrih, Courtney Lee, and Nick Calathes.

This is a tough matchup for the Grizzlies in the best of circumstances. They have an elite defense but they struggle to defend in transition, they are average at running teams off the three-point line, and they are not great at stopping the ball handler coming off the pick-and-roll. Three things that are the core tenets of the Warriors game plan. It’s just a tough matchup for Memphis.

Conley would be a significant boost for Memphis, but his health must be the priority.

Report: Spurs ‘near or at the top’ of LaMarcus Aldridge’s list – unless Kevin Love leaves Cavaliers


If LaMarcus Aldridge leaves the Trail Blazers in free agency this summerand his own teammates see it as a legitimate possibilitySan Antonio seems like a logical landing spot.

And maybe that’s underselling the Spurs.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

sources insist — at, yes, this early juncture — that San Antonio sits near or at the top of Aldridge’s list … unless the Cleveland Cavaliers were to lose Kevin Love and then somehow manufacture a way to sign-and-trade for him.

I still lean toward Aldridge staying in Portland, where can make about $109 million over five years as opposed to about $81 million over four years elsewhere. The Trail Blazers are good when healthy, and Aldridge has a strong connection to the franchise.

But it seems increasingly likely Aldridge leaves.

If the Spurs are already at or near the top of his list, just wait until he gets further removed from his time with Portland. He might have loved his last nine years with the Trail Blazers, but that bond won’t feel as tight in July as it does now. Just a couple days ago, he was still giving Portland his all in the playoffs.

Cleveland would be an intriguing destination, and Aldridge could provide some of the floor-spacing Love did next to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving – though Aldridge doesn’t stretch beyond the 3-point arc like Love did. Aldridge also doesn’t pass like Love, and Aldridge is older.

Keeping Love should definitely be the Cavaliers’ preference, though it isn’t just their choice. Love has a player option, and he’s reportedly at least considering leaving Cleveland.

If the Cavaliers lose Love, signing-and-trading for Aldridge would be difficult. A deal would have to appease the Trail Blazers, who wouldn’t rush to help their All-Star forward leave Portland. And if it’s good enough for the Trail Blazers, Cleveland might be giving up too much.

This is why the Cavaliers should go all-in on keeping Love.

LaMarcus Aldridge: 9 years in Portland will ‘have more weight than anything else’ on his free agent decision


Will LaMarcus Aldridge stay in Portland?

It’s likely that no one knows the answer to that question at this point, not even Aldridge himself.

But for Blazers fans looking for clues as to how next season’s roster might shake out, it seems as though Aldridge sincerely values his time in Portland, and that will weigh heavily on his decision whether or not to potentially play somewhere else.

From Erik Gundersen of

Q: What’s important for you when you decide?

LA: Yeah. Last night was tough. I wanted to win, blah blah blah. Um yeah. I mean you know i’m not going to get into the details of it. I’m just going to go home, relax, talk to my family and my agent and just go from there

Of course I love being here. I’m thankful for everything this city has give me. I’m thankful for my nine years my time here. It’s been an amazing nine years, of course I wouldn’t want to end. But when the time comes I will sit down with my agent and Neil and Paul and we’ll just figure it out.

Q: Does this team have the benefit though?

LA: As I said we will sit down and figure it out. I’m not going to get into all of the percentages or anything like that. I’ve always been here. I’ve had a great nine years here. That’s always going to have more weight than anything else.

If you think Aldridge’s time in Portland has been a positive, then that could mean he’ll consider re-signing. The problem is, if a team like the Spurs comes along — and Aldridge is interested in a change of scenery — it may be a situation that’s too good to pass up.

PBT Extra: Will LaMarcus Aldridge stay in Portland?


ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin joins Jenna Corrado to discuss the chances of Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge signing with a new team this offseason. Helin believes Aldridge will test free agency and have many suitors.

Al-Farouq Aminu says he’ll opt out of contract with Mavericks


Al-Farouq Aminu is no fool.

That will take him down the opposite road of fellow-non-fool Chase Budinger, who opted into the final season of his contract.

Unlike Budinger, who’s due $5 million next season, Aminu – a Mavericks forward – is due just his $1,100,602 minimum in his player-option season.

Michael Florek of The Dallas Morning News:

Aminu said on Wednesday that he’d decline his option be a free agent this summer.

“I think it makes the most sense to me,” he said. “You just look for a great fit. This year, I think I found one. Hopefully, I can do the same.”

Is money important?

“I would hope to think so,” Aminu said.

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Aminu outplayed a minimum contract all season, but he really reached another in the playoffs. In Dallas’ loss to the Rockets, he averaged 11.2 points (making 17-of-31 shots, including 7-of-11 3-pointers), 7.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.6 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game. He also spent significant time guarding James Harden reasonably effectively considering Harden is an MVP candidate.

I doubt Aminu can maintain those numbers – especially the outside shooting – but considering he’s just 24, there’s hope this was a breakout performance rather than an aberration.

At minimum, Aminu should continue to display his defensive versatility. At 6-foot-9, can guard power forwards, small forward and shooting guards. I wouldn’t hesitate to put him on point guards or centers in stretches. That makes him an ideal fit as teams increasingly look to switch on defense.

I expect Aminu to get multiple offers in the mid-level exception range – taxpayer: $3,376,000, non-taxpayer: $5,464,000 – and I’d hardly be surprised if a team went over the top to ensure landing him.

Will it be the Mavericks? They have to figure out Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis, and they have their eyes on bigger fish like DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge. I’m sure Dallas wants to keep Aminu, but he’s the type of player who slips through the cracks. Just look how the Mavericks got him last year.

Nobody’s getting Aminu for the minimum this year, though. He’ll fetch well more than that, which is why opting out was the clear right move.