The Grizzlies have every intention of re-signing point guard Mike Conley when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, and based on Conley’s enthusiastic recruitment for center Marc Gasol to re-sign with the team this past offseason, the veteran playmaker also desires his time in Memphis to continue beyond this campaign, Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports writes. Gasol said he plans to leave Conley alone this season and won’t pester him to stay in Memphis, Lee adds.
“Yeah, but I cannot force him to do anything that he doesn’t feel that is right. He has to do what is right for him, that he believes in it,” Gasol told Lee. “If you feel forced to do something you don’t believe in, then you’re going to regret it. And whenever he makes his decision, whatever his decision is, he knows our relationship goes way beyond basketball and we’ll always be friends, past this five, 10 years left in our careers. As long as we live, we’re going to be friends. It’s not going to affect our friendship.”
Here’s more from out of the Southwest Division:
- Nate Robinson‘s stint with the Pelicans this season lasted less than two weeks, but his release wasn’t because of anything the diminutive guard failed to do, John Reid of The Times Picayune relays (Twitter links). Robinson was replaced on New Orleans’ roster by Toney Douglas, who was thought to be a better fit for the team’s roster, according to coach Alvin Gentry, Reid notes. ”We just thought it was a better fit [with Douglas], nothing against Nate,” Gentry said. “Nate came in and did everything we asked him to do.”
- Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is still finding his footing in San Antonio with his new team, and the player admitts that he’s “not even close” to the player San Antonio signed this offseason, Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com writes. “It’s not the same. I’m not the same person here that I was in Portland,” Aldridge said. “I don’t feel like they need me to be that person all the time. It’s learning how to be myself in the offense. I haven’t figured that out yet. I feel like the whole [team philosophy of] ‘good to great passes’ [is] in my head all the time. Hopefully as the season goes on I’ll figure it out. But right now, I’m just trying to fit in.“
- Rockets camp cuts Denzel Livingston, Will Cummings, Joshua Smith, and Chris Walker will join the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as D-League affiliate players this season, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays (on Twitter).