Could the Memphis Grizzlies be losing their All-Star-caliber point guard?
Mike Conley is set to hit the free-agent market July 1 barring an 11th-hour deal with the only team he’s ever played for, and the 28-year-old might not necessarily remain in Tennessee. In fact, some people in the Grizzlies organization are concerned for that very reason.
Per ESPN’s Ian Begley:
“Here’s a bit of potentially good news for those Knicks fans interested in free agent Mike Conley: some members of the Grizzlies front office are growing a bit concerned about the possibility of Conley leaving in free agency, per a source with knowledge of the situation. Memphis, which plans on using a video featuring Grizzlies part-owner Justin Timberlake as part of its recruiting pitch, per a source, can offer Conley a five-year deal worth approximately $124 million. Other clubs can ink Conley to a max contract for four years worth approximately $92 million. Both Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek and GM Steve Mills has mentioned point guard as a position of emphasis for New York this offseason.”
Begley doesn’t explicitly say the Grizzlies — or anyone, for that matter — think Conley will head to New York. He’s simply pointing out an obvious match for a team with cap space in need of a very good point guard.
One potential wrinkle in this scenario, though, is that Conley, much like Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, is entering free agency after his ninth NBA season. He can make significantly more money by signing a max contract after next season — his 10th in the league — under current CBA rules.
In other words, whoever misses on Conley this offseason could get another shot at him next summer if he chooses to sign a one-year-contract and test the open market after the 2016-17 season.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images