Conley is not only the man of the future for Memphis, but he inked the largest contract in NBA history ( 5 years $153 million). To put some prospective on this deal; the G.O.A.T Michael Jordan did not make that much in his entire career. Conley is one of the most underrated players in the entire league. He is one of the best defensive guards in the NBA and he can hold his own on offense as well. Yes, $156 million is a huge contract for a player that is not even top 20 in the NBA, but Memphis needed to make this deal.
If you look at the free agency class this offseason, it was not particularly strong at the point guard position. Yes, Kevin Durant was a free agent, but Memphis knew that:
A) They did not have enough for him.
B) They weren’t going to get him even if they did have the money.
So outside of Conley at point, who was the next best thing? Jeremy Lin? Ty Lawson? I think it is safe to say Memphis had no choice here. And because the Grizzlies owned Conley’s bird rights, they were able to play him the most.
Both Conley and big man Marc Gasol are coming off of season ending injuries last season and will need to be the great duo that led Memphis to the playoffs in yesteryear. Zach Randolph (35 years old) is not the Randolph of old (which is understandable due to age), but he is still a factor now that he is coming off the bench behind young high-flyer JaMychal Green.
Another major move Memphis made this offseason was their forward Chandler Parsons. On a team where your two best scorers are Mike Conley and 39 year old Vince Carter, Parsons will need to be that constant offensive threat for them. However, Parsons has never been able to stay healthy which the Grizzlies need him to be.
The Grizzles will be strong on the defensive side of the ball (like always) if they can stay healthy. But if their best players can not stay on the floor again this year, it will be another long season in Memphis.