Mike Conley said Memphis still feels like “home” as he returned to the city on Saturday for the first time since an offseason trade sent him to Utah, relays Marc Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal. Conley was in town for his annual Bowl ‘N Bash, a charitable event that has always signaled that it’s nearly time to report to Grizzlies training camp.
This year will be different as Conley got the trade to a contender that he has been wanting and Memphis unloaded three costly contracts to officially kick off a youth movement. Conley said he still cares about the Grizzlies and was happy to see the team get a good return in deals involving himself, Marc Gasol and Chandler Parsons.
“Not a lot of players get that connection with the team or the organization. Like I really did care about how the team would fare after I left if I got traded, who they got in the trade,” Conley said. “It was almost like I was negotiating the deal for them, like make sure you get this, that and the other because you want to have more picks or more people, and I’m just thrilled to see the guys they got. They got a heck of a future in front of them because of the trades they were able to make for Marc, or myself, or Chandler, and just really turned it over well.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Eric Gordon heard his name mentioned a few times in trade rumors as the Rockets tried to add another star, but he tells Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle that he always expected to remain with the team. The four-year extension he signed last week should solidify his place in Houston. “I know I’m valuable to this team,” Gordon said. “I think I’ve showed that. … I feel like I am going into my prime years. I can shoot, defend, be creative on offense. I have a lot to give.”
- Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has received medical clearance for the start of training camp, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Barea, who is recovering from a torn Achilles, said he will be able to practice without restrictions when camp opens October 1.
- Veteran guard Devin Harris tells Townsend that he’s “weighing options” about where to play this year (Twitter link). The 36-year-old, who appeared in 68 games for the Mavericks last season, added that it “needs to be the right opportunity.”