Not everyone thinks that the Bucks would be on the losing end in the proposed Mike Conley deal.
In an article by Memphis Commercial Appeal Grizzlies beat writer Ronald Tillery Marc Gasol passionately insists that giving up on Conley would be a mistake.
“There are many reasons. First you’re starting, and then you’re out of the lineup,” Gasol said. “And sometimes you’re not playing as well. The important thing is how you are inside. What are you trying to accomplish on the court? Are you working? Are you doing what coach is asking you to do? Are you helping your teammates? Mike is always trying to do the right thing.”
Tillery compares Conley’s early stats to that of other point guards who flourished later in their careers such as Steve Nash, Tony Parker, and Devin Harris, saying that the system he currently is in does not allow for his full potential to shine through.
But would Milwaukee be any better?
The Bucks have a lot of success in an up-tempo offense, but only average 2 more possesions per game than Memphis. They usually like to feed Andrew Bogut early in games and then have a tendency to get stagnant with Michael Redd and Richard Jefferson in the half court offense. They certainly have the tools to be an effective running team, but Scott Skiles has a tendency to be a bit overbearing. He has hesitated to let the younger Sessions take control of his team. He is a very defensively demanding coach, which could cause a problem for Conley whose Memphis team performs 8 points better every 100 possesions with him off the court than with him on the court defensively.
Oddly enough it’s the point guard he battles for minutes for currently, Kyle Lowry, who would seem to be more of a fit with Skiles defense first philosophy. Lowry is regarded as one of the better defenders on the point in the league, and it seems like Memphis is recognizing that more, as his minutes have increased to almost 30 a game in January. Lowry is an affordable 2 million next year with RFA the year after.
Rumblings have quieted on the deal in the past few days since it was reported to be on Senator Kohl’s desk, so this might be all for not, but the passion Gasol has for Conley is at least one bright side to the proposed deal. If there is one thing the Gasol brothers know, its that Memphis has made some bad trades.