Grizzlies aim to keep Mike Conley, add Chandler Parsons

By Vincent Frank

There could very well be a major shift in the balance of the Western Conference coming here within the next week.

Of course, that shift could have a lot to do with Kevin Durant’s upcoming free-agent decision.

However, there’s another story to follow along with as free agency officially opens early Friday morning.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Memphis Grizzlies are not only looking to keep Mike Conley away from the Dallas Mavericks, they’re looking to steal forward Chandler Parsons from their conference rivals.

It had previously been reported that Conley’s first free-agent visit will be with the Mavericks, at which point we can expect owner Mark Cuban to open up his checkbook.

If the Mavericks are able to add Conley while retaining Parsons, it would be a huge move forward for what has become a bottom-rung playoff contender.

On the other hand, the Grizzlies have put themselves in the position to add Parsons to the mix with Conley should the two decide to team up in Memphis.

Remember, the Grizzlies declined their option on forward Lance Stephenson earlier in the summer, opening up both a spot in the starting lineup and cap room for the team to be creative in free agency.

Conley, 28, is one of the most underrated players in the entire Association. He runs the offense as good as any point guard in the league, plays exceptional defense and has knocked down the three at a 37 percent clip in his career.

It would be a major blow if Memphis were to lose him in free agency. On the other hand, the Mavericks ran out four different points guards on a consistent basis throughout the 2015-16 season. To say this is a need would be an understatement.

As it relates to Parsons, his market may very well end up dictating where he’s going to go. The injury-prone small forward just recently declared himself to be a max player. Whether the league’s teams agree is a completely different question.