June 15, 2016, 7:24 am
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley: “some members of the Grizzlies’ front office are growing a bit concerned about the possibility of Conley leaving in free agency.” We’ve heard conflicting reports about Conley since the end of the season, but it sounds more and more likely that he could leave Memphis this offseason.
Begley went on to note that the Grizzlies can offer Conley a “five-year deal worth approximately $124 million,” which is one year and $30 million more than teams that don’t have access to his Bird rights. Despite the financial upside of remaining in Memphis, however, Conley may find more playoff success by leaving. Marc Gasol is returning from a series foot injury, and Zach Randolph looked past his prime last year at the age of 34.
A victim of the plague of injuries in Memphis, Conley played just 56 games in 2015-16 before Achilles tendinitis forced him to miss the rest of the season. Conley struggled with his shot amidst the roster churn, shooting just 42.2% from the floor, a career low. That said, he still averaged 15.3 points, 1.4 threes, 2.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.2 steals and just 1.5 turnovers per game.
One potential suitor for Conley is the New York Knicks. Both Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek and GM Steve Mills have mentioned point guard as a position of need this offseason, and Conley has shown an ability to fit in well with high usage front courts in the past. If the Knicks continue to build around their current roster Conley would make a nice addition to their starting lineup, and could make a playoff run behind Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Conley.