The Memphis Grizzlies have placed themselves in a bad position with the contract of Mike Conley Jr. While paying a player $30 million per season is nothing new, a contract that size is usually reserved for superstar players. Sorry to say Memphis, but Conley is far from that. With NBA rumors beginning to reach third gear around the league, will Mike Conley draw any real consideration? If so, is any team willing to take such a high gamble?
While the Memphis Grizzlies have had some success with Conley running the point, there has yet to be an NBA Finals appearance or any indication that he’s even worth half of that contract.
With the Grizzlies looking to move forward with a rebuild by possibly trading their best player, Marc Gasol, what does that mean for Conley? This season has been another opportunity wasted for the highly paid point guard as injuries have set in again in which he will be out for another two weeks, as reported by Sporting News. Conley has played in only 12 games and has produced to the tune of 17.1 points and 4.1 assists.
The issue with Conley is, is he the real deal or just a product of Gasol and Zach Randolph? When you have those type of players surrounding you, it’s easy to average six assists and 20 points per outing. With Randolph gone, Conley has taken on a larger role. However, the Grizzlies have struggled without him. What teams will want to know before a trade is, are the Memphis Grizzlies a playoff team with him healthy?
The Grizzlies are 2-17 since Mike Conley’s injury, the worst record in the league during this span.
They are 7-5 with Conley this season. pic.twitter.com/UMcbA5LotG
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 22, 2017
What will kill any Conley trade before then is the contract. According to Spotrac, Conley is scheduled to make $30.5 million in 2018 then an additional $32.5 in 2019. After 2019, Conley has an early termination clause in his deal where he and Memphis can go their separate ways. On the trade front, the earliest the Grizzlies can trade him is by the trade deadline in 2019. But should any team make that deal?
Should any team be willing to let the Memphis Grizzlies off the hook for such a dumb move? It’s one thing to help a team out like the Philadelphia 76ers who gave J.J. Redick a one-year deal, but it’s another to bail out the Grizzlies who did something foolish. Conley can help a few teams, however, for the next season and a half, the only team he will be helping will be the one who paid him like the superstar he isn’t.