Mike Conley Trade Rumors: Grizzlies Keeping PG at Deadline amid Inquiries

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 30: Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on in the fourth quarter during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on January 30, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 99-97 in overtime. 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. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
David Berding/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies reportedly will not move point guard Mike Conley ahead of Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. ESPN's Tim McMahon noted the Grizzlies see Conley as an important mentor for young guard Jaren Jackson, which was part of why they opted to keep him. 

Per that report, "Memphis discussed deals with multiple teams, but ultimately decided to hold onto their franchise point guard." 

There were plenty of rumors surrounding Conley, with Marc Stein of the New York Times reporting Wednesday that the Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz were suitors, though Memphis wanted two first-round picks in any deal.

The Toronto Raptors had also popped up in Conley rumors before they swung a trade for his teammate Marc Gasol on Thursday, according to Woj. Memphis also traded Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday for Avery Bradley. 

While the Grizzlies appear to be entering a rebuild, Conley's experience and mentorship was a factor in the team retaining him, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com:

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

One factor in the Grizzlies not trading Mike Conley: They value him as a mentor for Jaren Jackson Jr., a 19-year-old being groomed as the future face of the franchise. Conley was not eager to leave Memphis.

Memphis has good reason to strip away some key pieces this season and begin rebuilding its roster. The team owes a first-round pick to the Boston Celtics, and it's top-eight protected this summer, top-six-protected in the 2020 draft and unprotected in 2021. Holding onto that pick this offseason, and maybe even next, makes sense for the Grizzlies as they seek to pair young talent with Jaren Jackson Jr.

And with Conley under contract through next season (with a $34.5 million player option for the 2020-21 season that he'll almost assuredly exercise), the Grizzlies could always explore deals for him in the offseason, hoping teams that miss out on the top free agents come calling with sweeter offers than they received this week.

So while Conley remains a Grizzly this season, it's still very possible the team could trade him for much-needed assets in the future.


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