The Memphis Grizzlies may have decided to keep Mike Conley for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season, but that doesn’t give him an assurance that they still consider him as part of their long-term future. With the Grizzlies expected to use the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to select Ja Morant, Conley is expected to be traded for assets that could help Memphis speed up the rebuilding process. One of the NBA teams who could express strong interest in acquiring Conley is the Detroit Pistons.
The outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season proved that the Pistons still need to add at least one established superstar in order to have a legitimate chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title. However, with their limited cap space, the only realistic way for the Pistons to improve their roster is by taking the trade route. According to Liam McKeone of The Big Lead, the Pistons were among the teams who tried to acquire Conley from the Grizzlies before the February NBA trade deadline and they are highly expected to resume their pursuit of the All-Star point guard in the 2019 NBA offseason.
To acquire Mike Conley, McKeone suggested that the Pistons could offer a trade package including Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson, Jon Leuer, and a future first-round pick. Conley is undeniably worth giving up all those assets as he will be giving the Pistons an All-Star caliber point guard who is a very reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. This season, Conley 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.
Mike Conley is in no doubt an upgrade for Reggie Jackson, and he could form Detroit’s “Big Three” with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.
“Conley is the perfect point guard to run an offense centered around two big men, and while Point Blake was a real thing last season, he was so worn down by the end of the season he basically played their final playoff game in a leg cast. Conley would give them a veteran presence to help the other young guns they have left, and can be counted on to keep Griffin and Andre Drummond happy while giving the team consistent scoring output.”
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) May 17, 2019
The deal will not only be beneficial for the Pistons but also for the Grizzlies. In exchange for Mike Conley, the Grizzlies will receive a young and promising guard in Luke Kennard and a future first-round pick that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Reggie Jackson and Jon Leuer may just be salary cap fillers, but their expiring contracts will be valuable to teams who are aiming to create salary cap space for the summer of 2020.