The Memphis Grizzlies may have decided to keep Mike Conley for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they still consider him as part of their long-term future. When the season is officially over, the Grizzlies are highly expected to make the All-Star point guard available on the trading block and seek assets that can help them speed up the rebuilding process.
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the NBA teams who could express strong interest in trading for Mike Conley is the Minnesota Timberwolves. With both Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns signed to massive contract extensions, undergoing a full-scale rebuild is less likely to be an option for the Timberwolves despite suffering another disappointing season. As of now, the only thing they could do is to continue surrounding Wiggins and Towns with players that could turn the Timberwolves from a mediocre team to a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference.
The potential acquisition of Mike Conley won’t make the Timberwolves an instant title contender, but Favale believes that his arrival in Minnesota is a huge step forward to a “win-now direction.”
“Trying to peg the Timberwolves’ direction is a mental tug-of-war. Their cap sheet is not the least bit clean, and Karl-Anthony Towns is too good to start things over without considering the long-term repercussions. But Minnesota just hired Gersson Rosas to be its president of basketball operations. New front-office regimes like to imprint their own direction. He could opt for a more gradual approach that halts any theoretical search for another star. Targeting Mike Conley is very much a step in the win-now direction.”
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Timberwolves will be trading Keita Bates-Diop, Gorgui Dieng, Jeff Teague, a 2019 first-round pick, the Miami Heat’s 2019 second-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick to the Grizzlies in exchange for Mike Conley. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help the Timberwolves and Grizzlies in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
Mike Conley will undeniably be an upgrade to the Timberwolves’ starting point guard position. With the years he spent playing alongside Marc Gasol in Memphis, Conley won’t definitely have a hard time making himself comfortable alongside the face of the franchise, Karl-Anthony Towns. Conley may already be 31, but he still hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. This season, the veteran point guard averaged 21.1 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.3 steals on 43.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.