Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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With the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, it is widely believed the Memphis Grizzlies will select point guard Ja Morant out of Murray State.
There has been talk that Morant would back up Mike Conley Jr. for a season, as Conley still has two years left on a maximum-salary contract. Combine that with the fact Conley is 31-years old, and he may difficult to move.
But it’s also important to note that Conley was extremely productive in an otherwise lost season. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists in 70 games — and really is known as one of the NBA’s best all-around guys in terms of leadership and chemistry.
So there will indeed be some interest.
Among those who could make a run: the Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz and perhaps especially, the Miami Heat.
“Heat president Pat Riley has long coveted Conley — Miami was interested in signing Conley before he re-signed with Memphis three years ago — and still wants to bring him to South Florida,” Sean Deveney of Sporting News recently reported.
The Grizzlies are the only team in need of a head coach, and several names have of course been linked to the position.
The list includes Utah Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, Golden State assistant Jarron Collins, European coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, former Phoenix Suns coach Igor Kokoskov and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts.
Then again, what do we really know? Earlier this month about a dozen assistants were linked to the Cavs coaching job … and then out of nowhere, they hired 66-year old John Beilein out of Michigan.
But it appears that all of the candidates are real in Memphis.
“One idea Memphis is said to be kicking the tires on is hiring an assistant coach for the bench who also holds a measure of player personnel input,” veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote in his latest New York Times newsletter.