The Memphis Grizzlies may have decided to keep Mike Conley Jr. for the remainder of the 2018-19 NBA season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they still consider him part of their long-term plan. Since they traded Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors before the February NBA trade deadline, most people were already expecting the Grizzlies to undergo a rebuilding process, making Conley an odd fit on their roster.
The rumors about Mike Conley’s departure from Memphis started to heat up when the Grizzlies landed the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. On Twitter, Jonathan Givony of ESPN revealed that the Grizzlies’ front office “appeared to have locked” on using their top pick to select Ja Morant, a young and promising point guard who has drawn comparisons with Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the Grizzlies push through with their plan to draft Morant, keeping Conley no longer makes sense, and there is a strong chance that the All-Star point guard will once again become available on the trading block in the 2019 NBA offseason.
One of the NBA teams who may consider trading for Mike Conley next summer is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have long been interested in getting Conley’s service. Though they currently have plenty of young guards on their roster, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes pairing Conley with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan will give them a chance of contending for the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“Before Conley signed his five-year, $153 million contract with the Grizzlies in 2016, the Spurs were interested in his services. San Antonio is quietly stockpiling some good, young guards with Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Bryn Forbes, and Lonnie Walker IV. Will Gregg Popovich, the NBA’s oldest coach at 70, want to wait on their development? Getting Conley means one last hope at a sixth championship in the Popovich era, as he’d be joining a veteran core of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan.”
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Spurs will be sending Derrick White, Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli, Davis Bertans, and the No. 29 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Grizzlies in exchange for Mike Conley. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trae Machine.
If the trade becomes a reality, it will not only be beneficial for the Spurs but also for the Grizzlies. In exchange for Mike Conley, the Grizzlies will receive a younger guard, Derrick White, who could form an exciting backcourt duo with Ja Morant in Memphis. Davis Bertans is only 26 and could still be part of the Grizzlies’ rebuilding process, while the No. 29 pick will enable them to add another young and promising talent on their roster.