As they continue to struggle in the 2018-19 NBA season, rumors and speculations started to swirl that the Memphis Grizzlies are planning to make a huge roster overhaul before the February NBA trade deadline. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Grizzlies have started listening to trade offers for Marc Gasol and Mike Conley as they are aiming to reshape their roster around Jaren Jackson, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Several NBA teams have already expressed interest in engaging in a trade deal with the Grizzlies involving their superstars. One of the most intriguing landing spots for Mike Conley is the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite currently being the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, Mike Prada of SB Nation suggested that the Bucks should consider upgrading their backcourt before the February NBA trade deadline.
In a potential deal involving Mike Conley, the Grizzlies are reportedly seeking some combination of young talent, draft picks, and salary-cap relief. Prada proposed that the Bucks could send a trade package centered on Eric Bledsoe to the Grizzlies for Conley. To match Conley’s salary and convince the Grizzlies to make a deal, Prada suggested that the Bucks could also include George Hill, at least one or two of D.J. Wilson, Thon Maker, Sterling Brown, and Donte DiVincenzo, and a 2023 first-round pick.
“Conley is a definite upgrade on Eric Bledsoe, despite being older and having a long-term contract. Though Bledsoe has fit in well in Mike Budenholzer’s system, teams will be more daring leaving him open in the postseason, given his 31-percent three-point mark and career-long issues with turnovers (though he is averaging a career low in turnover percentage this season). Conley, on the other hand, is clutch and sure-handed, which holds extra value in the postseason. Conley also allows the Bucks to avoid a tricky offseason dilemma: how much to pay Bledsoe as a free agent.”
The Bucks may be able to finish the 2018-19 regular season as the best NBA team in the Eastern Conference, but they should be aware that the competition in the NBA Playoffs is on a different level. If they are serious about fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title, the Bucks should find ways to upgrade their roster without destroying their chemistry.
Mike Conley is undeniably a much better point guard than Eric Bledsoe. His ability to efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc will make it easier for Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to penetrate the opposing team’s defense.
As of now, it remains unknown if the Bucks have a real interest in acquiring Mike Conley from the Grizzlies. Expect more rumors to circulate before the February NBA trade deadline.