Southwest Notes: Conley, Green, Koufos, Pels

The Grizzlies have tried multiple times to strike up extension talks with Mike Conley, sources tell Marc Stein of, who says that Conley has nonetheless resisted. That’s no surprise, since the salary for the first season in a veteran extension for him could be no more than 107.5% of his salary in the last season before the extension were to kick in. The point guard’s existing bargain deal tops out at little more than $9.388MM next season, so an extension would entail a giant financial sacrifice for Conley. He’s therefore destined to become one of the headliners in the 2016 free agent class, but there’s more on this summer’s business first amid the latest from the Southwest Division:

  • The working assumption in Memphis is that Jeff Green will pick up his $9.2MM player option to stay with the Grizzlies for next season, but the presence of wily agent David Falk in the equation makes that less than a foregone conclusion, as Stein details in the same piece.
  • The Celtics were among the many teams that made trade proposals for Kosta Koufos this year that the Grizzlies turned down, Stein writes. Boston was involved in a rumored three-team scenario that would have sent Koufos to Cleveland, but it didn’t appear until now that the C’s made a play for the big man themselves. In any case, Memphis is aware that Koufos, a free agent this summer, wants to start, Stein says.
  • Alvin Gentry, Scott Brooks, an NBA assistant coach or a college coach who isn’t already a star would probably pass muster with Pelicans GM Dell Demps sooner than Tom Thibodeau, John Calipari or Jeff Van Gundy would, as Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune opines. The GM is reportedly weary of internal conflict, and a coach who carries less authority would be easier for Demps to handle, Smith believes, calling the front office situation, in which Saints/Pelicans executive Mickey Loomis holds sway over Demps, “untenable.” The Pels reportedly interviewed Gentry on Monday, but it’s unclear whether the Warriors assistant is the right fit for the New Orleans roster, according to Smith.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu‘s energy is reminiscent of Corey Brewer and Jae Crowder, and the Mavs should work to retain soon-to-be free agent Aminu this summer, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News argues, positing that the forward would be a bargain at around $4MM a year.

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