NBA Trade Rumors: Marc Gasol, Mike Conley Deals Being Considered by Grizzlies

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2019

MEMPHIS, TN - JANUARY 4: Marc Gasol #33 and Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies look on before the game against the Brooklyn Nets on January 4, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies have plummeted in the standings after losing 17 of their last 20 games. As a result, they will reportedly listen to trade offers for Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr. leading up to the NBA's Feb. 7 trade deadline.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the news Tuesday, noting it is the "first time" the franchise will seriously consider offers for the two "cornerstone" pieces. He noted the Grizzlies have "reached a crossroads," and moving one or both players would allow them to jumpstart a rebuild after a disappointing past two months.

Wojnarowski added, "Gasol and Conley met with owner Robert Pera in Memphis recently, but neither expressed a desire to be traded, league sources told ESPN."

Conley and Gasol have never played an NBA game for a different franchise. Memphis selected Conley with the No. 4 overall pick out of Ohio State in 2007, and it brought Gasol over in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2008. 

This is the duo's 11th season together, and Memphis went to the playoffs seven straight times from 2010-11 through 2016-17. Conley and Gasol even led the Grizzlies to the 2013 Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

However, that playoff streak ended last season largely because Conley played only 12 games due to injuries. After a promising 12-5 start to the 2018-19 season, the wheels have come off for the Grizzlies again, which suggests the playoffs are a long shot.

Moving Gasol or Conley could help the Grizzlies to land draft assets and/or young players in return and accelerate a rebuild centered around Jaren Jackson Jr., the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Memphis' hand may be somewhat forced, too, as Gasol can become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his $25.6 million player option for 2019-20 and Conley has an early termination option for 2020-21. 

Either player would be a valuable addition for a contender eyeing the playoffs or a championship run this season.

Conley is averaging 19.8 points, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game this season and is a career 37.5 percent shooter from three-point range. He can hit from the outside, facilitate when defenders collapse and penetrate off the bounce.

Gasol is still a nightly double-double threat and is averaging 15.3 points, 8.5 boards and 4.7 assists per game this season. The 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year could bolster any prospective suitor's frontcourt depth and rim protection.

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