Mike Conley’s Outrageous 5 year, $153 million Contract


Mike Conley was selected fourth overall in the 2007 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. In Conley’s first eight seasons with the Grizzlies he averaged 13.4 PPG 5.6 APG 2.9 RPG and 1.5 SPG. Last season, Conley’s ninth season, he averaged 15.3 PPG, 6.1 APG, 2.9 RPG, and 1.2 SPG. This offseason the Memphis Grizzlies felt like they needed to keep Conley no matter what price it costed. The Memphis Grizzlies signed Conley to a 5 year, $153 million contract which is the biggest contract signed in NBA history to date. This contract is outrageous and will negatively affect the Grizzlies future for several reasons.

1. Mike Conley is not a star player

Mike Conley is a good player who helps the Grizzlies in several ways, but the only players that should be signed to such big contracts are players that are obvious franchise pieces who could lead their team to the NBA Finals. In Conley’s nine seasons with the Grizzlies he has never made an All-Star team and was to most fans never considered a top five player at his position. His biggest accomplishment to date is being an NBA All-Defensive Second Team member (2013).

2. Mike Conley’s injury problems

During the 2014-15 season Conley only played 70 games out of a possible 82 games due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot which affected him in the playoffs and last season Conley only played 56 games due to Achilles tendinitis. If a player is getting payed over $30 million annually his team should be assured that he will play a majority if not all the games of the season and be healthy for the playoffs. This even has potential to become another Gilbert Arenas situation who signed a 6 year, $111 million contract then missed the majority of his team’s games due to injuries.

3. They will have no cap space to sign a big name free agent for the next several years

Along with Mike Conley’s 5 year, $153 million contract the Grizzlies also signed Chandler Parsons to a 4 year, $94 million contract. Between those two players the Grizzlies will be giving up on average $54.1 million annually. The salary cap for the 2016-17 season is around $94 million dollars which means around 58% of the Grizzlies money will go to Parsons and Conley with 33% strictly going to Conley. With the salary cap raising to an estimated $113 million in the 2017-18 season the Grizzlies will still be spending 48% of their money on Parsons and Conley. With a minimum of 11 more players on the team that they would still have to pay, there would be no money left to get a big name free agent.

With the Grizzlies recent signings they have secured a spot as an average team who will be a low seeded playoff team, or worse, for the next five years. They have doomed their future by signing Conley to such a big contract.

About Emanuel Godina

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