Mike Conley is one of the top two-way point guards in the league and there’s no doubt he’ll become an extremely rich man this summer.
Conley holds the No. 3 spot in our current 2016 Free Agent Power Rankings, behind only superstars Kevin Durant and LeBron James. It would be a shock if James leaves Cleveland for the second time in his career, so Conley could be the most sought-after free agent aside from Durant. Certainly, he tops the list of available floor leaders.
Last week, the New York Post reported that both the Knicks and Nets will be “all over” Conley when he hits the open market. The New York City teams could certainly use an upgrade at that spot.
The Knicks have used the combination of Jose Calderon and rookie Jerian Grant this season. Adding a top-notch point guard to feed the ball to Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis would make them a much more dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets are starved for talent, particularly in the backcourt. Conley was their top free agent target as far back as November and it’s unlikely that has changed, even though Conley’s former Grizzlies coach, Lionel Hollins, was fired. They lost journeyman Jarrett Jack to a season-ending injury and are now using the unimposing combination of Donald Sloan and Shane Larkin at that spot.
There will be other suitors out there, with the Kings, Jazz, Bucks, Nuggets and Pacers — just to name a few — potentially seeking an upgrade at that spot.
Conley will be eligible for a projected maximum starting salary of $24.9MM for 2016/17 — based upon the league’s official cap projection of $89MM — and it could be more if the actual cap number rises. However, most teams will have ample cap room to sign a big name free agent and there’s the sign-and-trade option for clubs that don’t have that much to spend.
The favorite to sign Conley is his current team. He recruited Marc Gasol last summer to stay put, so it would be surprising if Conley turned his back on the franchise this summer. The Grizzlies have every intention of re-signing him, though he turned away their offers for an extension last spring because of salary limitations. But Conley does want to see what’s out there, as he told SI’s Chris Mannix this season.
“This is where I’ve had my whole career,” he said. “At the same time I understand this is a business. I have to weigh my options just like [Gasol] did. Hopefully it will be an easy decision, whatever it is.”
This leads us to our question of the day: What team do you think Mike Conley will sign with this summer?
Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.