It’s no secret Mike Conley is available, but the Memphis Grizzlies are apparently making some sort of immediate push to trade him.
This side of Anthony Davis, who is now spoken for via a deal to the Los Angeles Lakers, Mike Conley might be the top veteran available on the NBA trade market this offseason. It’s no secret the Memphis Grizzlies are taking offers, dating back to the trade deadline.
But according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the team is intensifying trade talks regarding the veteran point guard and the Utah Jazz are a front runner if a deal happens this week.
The Grizzlies have the No. 2 pick in Thursday night’s draft, with Murray State point guard Ja Morant as the presumptive pick. Adding another top pick, as the New Orleans Pelicans are set to do via the Davis deal, could be on Memphis’ radar.
Utah is not the team to supply that high-level draft pick though. They have the 23rd overall pick on Thursday night, and they are set to stay a playoff contender going forward. Conley has conveyed his preference to not be part of a rebuild in Memphis (or presumably anywhere), and the list of teams with potential interest includes the Miami Heat (No. 13 pick), Detroit Pistons (No. 15), Indiana Pacers (No. 18) and Dallas Mavericks (no first-round pick).
Conley averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game this season, as he also averaged 6.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game over 70 contests. His contract is a major thing, with two years and $67 million left on it, but the teams with possible interest should have little trouble matching up salary while not gutting the roster.
The only way the Grizzlies should have urgency to “intensify” trade talks around Conley is if they want another first-round pick (outside the lottery, most likely) Thursday night. But in a top-heavy draft, that idea just doesn’t make a ton of sense.