Report: Mike Conley kept close eye on Lakers and Clippers last season ahead of NBA trade deadline

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Point guard Mike Conley reportedly kept a close eye on the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers last season ahead of the trade deadline. He ended up getting dealt from the Utah Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Conley stayed in constant communication with his agent and would even bend the ear of a journalist or two to see what they were hearing about the rumor mill,” Jon Krawczynski wrote. “He kept a close eye on the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers, two playoff-hopeful teams in need of a veteran point guard. But as the deadline grew nearer and nearer, there was little tangible sign that the Jazz had anything substantive cooking, so the family started to settle into the idea that they would stay in Utah…at least for the rest of the season.”

The Lakers allegedly showed interest in trading for Conley as well as guard Eric Gordon leading up to last season’s trade deadline.

The point guard has spent the majority of his career playing for the Memphis Grizzlies franchise. He played his first 12 seasons in the pros with the team that drafted him with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Even at his advanced age, the 36-year-old has been an important player for a Timberwolves team that is off to a very hot start to the 2023-24 regular season. Across 14 appearances with Minnesota so far this season, he is averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from outside the 3-point arc.

Thanks in part to Conley’s steady production at the point guard position, the Timberwolves are currently sitting atop the Western Conference standings with an 11-3 record. The Boston Celtics are the only team in the league with a better record than Minnesota right now, as they own a 12-3 record.

The Timberwolves are also riding a three-game winning streak and have yet to lose at home this season (7-0).

Minnesota’s wins during its streak have come against good competition in the New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers, in particular, have been playing great basketball to start the season. They own a 10-5 record, and guard Tyrese Maxey has emerged as a star for the team.

While Conley seemingly would have been a great fit with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers on paper, he’s also proven to be a great fit for the Timberwolves.

Conley and the Timberwolves will take on the Sacramento Kings in an In-Season Tournament matchup on Friday with the hope of extending their winning streak to four games.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.