Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Can Mike Conley Help?
After watching the Brooklyn Nets lose to the Memphis Grizzlies 101-91 over the weekend, the question that lingered in my mind along with presumably other basketball pundits was…
Would Mike Conley Jr. be willing to reunite with his old coach?
You know what happens after that? It starts one of many Brooklyn Nets rumors that will carry on until the next offseason.
I know Lionel Hollins would love to start a second chapter with his old point guard from Memphis. Especially after watching him chew up and spit out the point guards that he has now in Jarrett Jack and Shane Larkin to the tune of 22 points and eight assists. The Brooklyn Nets possess one of the most inefficient offenses in the NBA capped off with the worst three-point shooting overall. Mike Conley, with his skills and knowledge of the Hollins playbook, could make serious strides in turning things around.
But would he?
Check out what ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo said on the subject.
“Conley spent his entire career-eight full seasons-and counting in Memphis. His relationship with fellow cornerstone Marc Gasol is strong, and the Grizzlies will be able to offer him an extra year and $30 million-plus more in salary compensation based on how the CBA works (exact numbers after the national TV deal kicks in and the cap spikes as a result, pending)”
What Mr. Mazzeo is eloquently saying is that the chances of Conley coming to Brooklyn is basically slim and none and slim is looking for a new residence in Memphis. Let’s break the reasons down shall we?
1.) The Memphis Grizzlies can offer Mike Conley a max contract with one more year at $30 million dollars that no other team can offer.
The Nets financially can’t compete with that. No, check that, NO TEAM can compete with that. I find it difficult that any player (Carmelo Anthony comes to mind) can leave that kind of money. Yeah, I know that Dwight Howard did leave a situation like that in Los Angeles a couple of years back to go to Houston and LeBron James did shock the world going back to Cleveland, but Conley does not look like the guy that would leave that much money on the table. Plus LeBron James and Dwight Howard left for different reasons than Mike Conley would if he left Memphis. What are the Memphis Grizzlies all about?
2.) The Memphis Grizzlies are title contenders with their core players established.
The Grizzlies have re-signed Marc Gasol to an extension. They did the same with Zach Randolph. Couple these players with Conley’s familiarity with the franchise after eight years, it makes little sense for Conley to leave for Brooklyn with Memphis making a run at winning a championship. Memphis has run a clinic on how to build a team while staying under the luxury tax line. Now that they have added Matt Barnes and Brandan Wright to the mix this year, Conley is on a team right now focused on winning the NBA title.
Remember, a lot of people don’t believe that the Golden State Warriors beat the best teams in the Western Conference to get to the NBA Finals. If Conley does not crack his orbital bone, Memphis would have been on that list of teams the basketball analysts are talking about. It is widely believed inside the Memphis organization and out that if the Warriors had met them at full strength in playoffs last year, they might have been able to beat the champs.
3.) The Brooklyn Nets really do not have anything to offer Conley at this point.
Leaving a perennial playoff team like the Memphis Grizzlies for the Brooklyn Nets is like leaving the Love Boat for the Titanic. Now understand this is after watching the Love Boat collection and the Titanic movie on DVD.
The Brooklyn Nets just do not have the stability at this point to actually look appealing to one of the best point guards in the NBA. The Nets as of this writing are 0-4 (and counting…) and if this keeps up, there is no guarantee that Lionel Hollins will even be around for the long haul or want to be. Where would that leave Conley? Outside of Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, the cupboard is bare. The Memphis team is totally loaded with players locked up for at least for the next couple of years.
Let’s be clear on a couple of things. LeBron James will not bring his talents to Brooklyn. Jay-Z was his only reason for even thinking about coming and he is gone. Kevin Durant? No. I guess you are getting my drift here. The Nets have to go after second tier free agents such as Nicolas Batum, who is currently in Charlotte, Demar DeRozan of Toronto and Evan Turner of Boston.
If Lionel Hollins wants to reunite with Mike Conley Jr., it may have to happen on a visit in the offseason.
Because he ain’t coming to Brooklyn.