Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  101 responses

Grizzlies to Pay Mike Conley $45 Million Over 5 Years. Seriously.

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Mike Conley is one very happy man today. He’s the only one. Well, that’s not exactly true: his agent is pretty jazzed about the latest developments, too.

Everyone else, though? The range of emotions once the news of the deal broke late last night went from total confusion and disappointment, to conspiratorial, and for fans of the Memphis Grizzlies, all they could do was fall into a state of catatonic rage.

Through the season’s first three games, Mike Conley has bumped up his numbers across the board, so naturally, his employer lavished him with a five-year, $45 million contract.

ESPN reports:

The Memphis Grizzlies signed point guard Mike Conley to a contract extension late Monday night, according to his agent and father, Mike Conley Sr. Conley Sr., who along with Bill Duffy represents his son, would not specify the terms of the contract. But other sources with knowledge of the situation said the deal is worth $45 million over five years.

“Did I envision that Mike would play like this? Yes,” Conley Sr. said in a telephone interview on Monday. “But I did not have confidence that the Grizzlies would embrace him like they have with this contract. The first thing I told them when we began negotiating was that I didn’t want to go further with these discussions unless Mike was their guy. They said he’s their guy.” Conley’s signing came just minutes before Monday’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline for 2007 draft picks to sign contract extensions. With teams reluctant to sign players because of the uncertainty of the league’s next collective bargaining agreement, Conley became only the fourth player from his class to receive an extension.

After the deals Mike Conley and Rudy Gay got in Memphis, I can hardly wait to see what guys like OJ Mayo and Marc Gasol are going to ask for when their time comes.

Strap yourselves in, Grizzlies fans. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.

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  • ab40

    so mike conly and rudy gay are going to lead them to the promised land? And it’s safe to say they are not going to extend zach randolph his contract with the play of darel arthur these days.

  • http://bugmarley.com LeoneL

    SO that’s why he’s been playing great of late.

  • http://www.google.com JP


  • Brett

    Basically killed the franchise, worst decision ive ever seen.. Did KAAAAAHNNNNN takeover while I wasnt looking?

    To put it into perspective Rondo only earns ~2mil more over his contract

  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick NotebookNick

    15 and 8 with 3 TOs and 25% from 3 is worth 9 mil a year?!

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    And the owners still wonder why salaries are “out of control.”

  • http://kenrod_ps@yahoo.com KRod

    Trade Gasol!!! Trade Zach!!! Trade OJ!!! Mike Conley is now the face of the franchise!!! Nice

  • max

    I see,financial crisis,leagues business not working,ye,I see…its unbelievable.

  • Fat Lever

    Maybe Heisley sees the writing on the wall and knows his team will be contracted. With that, he’s going to give one last F You to Stern and sign his guys to completely ridiculous contracts. Either that or he’s been going to the Billy King School on How to Cripple A Franchise With The Stroke of a Pen.

  • http://funkycoldmokeski.tumblr.com ColmCanada

    Sonics fans are going to be mighty pissed about those last three years on the contract

  • Ali

    All these out of control bullshi* contracts started with the Juwan Howard fiasco (MIA/WASH) in 96′…All these crazy contracts do is put a bad light on the GAME. It should always be about the GAME and the TEAMS, not one individual player or the money! Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    This makes the Darko contract look reasonable.

  • http://www.edthesportsfan.com Ed The Sports Fan

    The tirade of HPbasketball almost made this deal worth it…

  • spit hot fiyah

    makes one wonder how much they might pay the crack in zach randolph’s tailbone…

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstySYD Hursty

    So… I’m guessing the Grizz management still haven’t read the CBA? Or a basic finance textbook from high school on supply and demand?

  • Nick the Quick

    This is the same dude that refused to pay their rookie Xavier Henry because they could not afford his rookie salary.

  • basketblogger

    the grizzlies are going to be contracted anyways so who cares

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Seriously? Seriously.

  • http://gmail dirty frank


  • http://ohlaglambam.blogspot.com Zabba

    Worth every penny.

  • Love4Humanity

    @Nick the Quick
    They could afford it they wanted to make it performance based.

    Stop making stuff up dude

  • hoodsnake

    I think Conley has some pictures of his owner doing extra curricular stuff

  • KB8toSG8

    LOL. The NBA and Stern must give many organisations classes in negotation and economics 101.

  • http://www.double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Wow, Operation: Swindle is in full effect.

  • JD

    i dunno – he’s been playing quite well as of late…so, this might not be bad.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Free OJ!!

  • http://bulls.com airs

    oh they mad.

    “Donald Sterling is a terrible human being. And yet, he somehow manages to make wiser decisions than you. HE PAYS BARON DAVIS.”

    hahaha i liked that one.

  • Blackphantom

    Aw come on y’all he’s actually averaging 15 points and 8 assists so he’s not really bad. But I agree that is WAAAAY too much money, come on now Memphis

  • G Diesel

    The time to trade Marc Gasol for Theo Ratliff and Sacha Vujacic has finally come.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    this is pretty crazy.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    @Blackphantom: In how many games?

  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    Dear NBA GMs, With the exception of a few teams, you all suck and have no idea what you’re doing. Good luck with the CBA!


  • Fat Lever

    G Diesel with the comment of the topic so far. Ahahahahah

  • Cizzo

    All MIke Conley haters will eat those words dude is a big time PG……

  • JTaylor21

    @Cizzo, big time PG in what world? The only way someone like Conley is considered big-time in anything is in a world ran by Danny Devito. I better NOT hear anybody siding with the owners on anything about losing money anymore.

  • The Philosopher

    I’m glad he received the money.
    Get it while you can.

  • The Philosopher

    Co-sign JT on his last point…

  • robb

    What a great agent he has

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    Holy sh*t: If Carmelo Anthony doesn’t sign an extension this year, he could be making the same amount as Mike Conley next year.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    That’s weird, I don’t remember reading anything about hell freezing over.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    wow… wow… iv always really liked his game but that is way way too much.. i cant believe they would be stupid enough to do this

  • mikee

    This franchise is on it’s way down.

  • Yesse

    This is just way too funny. Does the GM of Minnesota know anything about business? He already made stupid contracts, but this is even worse.

  • candice

    When the news broke over on Twitter, my timeline was flooded with shock and awe.

  • Logan


  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    He better break off a chunk to his boy Greg Oden. I’m still convinced Conley would be toiling in Europe somewhere right now if he didn’t play with GO in high school and college.

  • yaos foot

    everyone read that catatonic rage link.. best twitter feed.. ever

  • Blackphantom

    @Ryne In 3 games he’s averaging 15 pts 5 rebs and 8 assists, i hope he stays consistent with this, or else the Grizzlies would have ultimately failed with this contract(they already kinda have considering the money)

  • EtheKnickfan

    talk about fantasy basketball.

  • Blackphantom

    hahahahaha those Memphis fans are PISSED!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    cosign enigmatic

  • Noel

    OJ Mayo- 6-years, majority ownership of the franchise

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    John Hollinger has Conley on his all breakout team. Y’all need to recognize what’s coming.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    SO the owners are claiming they are not making money? Memphis is not a very big market, they do not get playoff revenue, no superstar player selling out stadiums, and yet they can afford to overpay two guys in a matter of months, right before a lock-out. David Stern and the Owners are the most skilled BS artists in the world if player salaries get cut by a third. Literally f’n over the players association while contradicting themselves on a weekly basis. How do they get away with this sh*t

  • dcom

    noel ftw

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Because that’s how the world works.

  • Migs

    So Heisley wouldn’t pony up $200K for Xavier Henry, but they’ll throw boatloads of money at Conley? This is ridiculous.

  • Heals

    Every comment about paycuts and players making too much is on point, Migs good call. This is c razyhe should have got what JDud’s did 5yrs-22.5 or so…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    @Allen thanks buddy. so we all realize that Conley makes more money then Jason Kidd….makes the same yearly salary as Devin Harris, and has never even been an AVERAGE, NBA player? This is just crazy, even if he does “break-out” what business does he have earning All-Star Money – Especially considering since Conley entered the NBA the Grizzlies have been the worst passing team in the league.

  • kev

    The NBA “where overpaid scrubs happen”

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Conley gets 9 million dollars a year for underperforming? Where’s MY raise for underperforming? God…

  • The Philosopher

    What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.

  • tRay

    @kev lol this is ridiculous he’s a steady point guard but idk if he’s worthy of this amount of money.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Yeeaah, this makes zero sense.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    But at least it does show that family/friends and business DO work out sometimes.
    (Looking at you, LRMR)





  • JRog


    I agree with you on that, and what makes it worse is that Tyreke played in the SAME building as the Grizz, so they should’ve known his value. He would have fit nicely with Mayo, and could have guarded the SGs of the league given his size and let OJ guard the PGs.

  • rob

    grizzlies suck. pau gasol is rollin in his grave right now. lol

  • Nova

    Xavier should just go to the admins and say
    “f*ck yall!”

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS


  • http://google c_cantrell

    dude dont even try to help justify this lol it is insane and u know it.. YOU need to recognize

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    That was sarcasm. It doesn’t come over well in print.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    From Hoops Hype:
    Some key points about the deal: 1. The contract kicks in for the 2011-12 season, starting at roughly $6.5 million. With the maximum 10.5-percent raises allowed, the increases will look something like $7.18 (year 2), $7.9 (year 3), $8.76 (year 4) and $9.68 (year 5). There is no doubt (even with a new CBA) that Conley would have received an offer starting at least $6 million. 2. The only way Conley can exceed $40 million (i.e. the $45 million that national media was given by Conley’s agent) is for him to produce what was described to me as “elite level PG statistics” AND the Griz must be winning 50-plus regular-season games AND having success in the playoffs. That means the bonus package is tied to individual and team greatness. 3. Another win/win is that there is deferred money in the deal. That’ll help the Grizzlies’ cash flow when their payroll is enormous. Zach Randolph came to Memphis with deferred money, which made it a little easier to absorb his contract

  • markymark

    no wonder memphis wanted to start him over AI. it’s the end of the world!!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen does it say what the base deal is then?

  • http://google c_cantrell

    o ok got ya now i thought u was being serious lol

  • JD

    If the owners want pay cuts why are they paying this guy 9 million a year for 5 years! It makes no sense

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Allen: That deal makes a lot more sense. Six million is… wait, six million a season is still f*cking absurd.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    What the F*CK?!! Somewhere in Turkey Allen Iverson is laughing his ass off.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Pardeep: Uh, I doubt.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Probably WTF?!ing his @ss off.

  • http://shaneular@aol.com MemphisRoar

    Well… I will just say a couple of things here…well maybe more than a couple.
    Mike Conley gets 45 million for 5 years!!! Rudy Gay gets over 80 million for his contract!!!! OMG I am so happy. NOT. Eisley you are so effing retarded!!! How can you…I mean….WTF were you… OK I’m calm now. So now you got Marc, ZBO, and Mayo left. Are you Kahn’s evil twin or something. Look at what Mayo did against the MAVS and TWOLVES. I mean murdered them. And after three games you sign Mike Conley 45 mill for 5 years. I mean….UGH. Why did he do so well against the Hawks? let me think… Maybe because Bibby can’t play defense. Now if he can do the same against Paul, Westbrook, Brooks, D Williams, and Parker I will understand but 45 mill for 5 years… :O what the F***. How will they be able to keep OJ, Marc, and ZBO? Answer is I can’t. I have talked to 30 grizz fans after I heard and asked who they would like to see at the game. No one said Conley’s name. Went to a chat room… No Conley. WTF. And I just bought an OJ Mayo Jersey. Guess I need to put it on EBAY cause he aint gonna be there after the 2011-2012 season. I am so freaking pissed. and Marc might be gone as well cause we all know ZBO is going to want a crap load of cash. Freakin Eisley or should I say KAHN reincarnated. And you all know Hollins had something to do with it. Heck he been on Conley’s balls ever since he got the job.

  • skd
  • http://www.youtube.com/officerbarbrady what

    And the owners want to cut player salaries by $750 million? If I was the players association negotiator I would tell Stern to go f*ck himself.

  • dma

    I guess this is how Heisley will get this team out of Memphis.. just load themselves up with turrible contracts.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/08/video-michael-jordans-love-of-the-game/ notblack

    LOL@hoodsnake its funny because it might be true

  • Michael

    Just when you thought Grizz were gonna start getting it together. I think Rudy wasn’t a max guy but they did what they had to to keep him. Conley though wtf! OJ is such a ball dominant shooting guard anyway that they’d be so much better off signing Gasol down low and then just paired Mayo with a PG that can distribute and shoot

  • The Philosopher

    If any of you are watching the Miami/Minnesota game, you would see EVERYONE on the team deferring to The King.
    I’ve been slightly off the past couple of days, but this thesis is entirely accurate.

  • The Philosopher


  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Dear Chris Grant:

    Pls get OJ Mayo to the Cavs. Memphis won’t be able to keep him. Thanks.

  • jarrett

    i swear i can be an nba gm. seriously

  • http://twitter.com/nbatalkandkicks Eduardo

    Franchise fell to pieces when they traded Gasol.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    This dude is being paid appox 20% of the teams salary cap. For a small market team, that is tremendous due to the fact that they would prefer not to venture deep into the luxury tax threshold. From a big market team’s perspective, it’s the same as giving a player 12+ mil a year for doing a decent job as a starter and not more. Mike Conley is a decent player worth 30mil/5yrs max, being generous here obviously. This contract has the opportunity to absolute wreck the teams future financial flexibility and their only room for improvement now is internal. It’s a sad day for the NBA and I hope the league reviews contract negotiation and a performance-reward system.

  • Justin

    This is as bad as if JTaylor were to start getting paid for his commentaries

  • Andy

    Everybody seems to whine about the status of small-market franchises…But why? When they make this kind of stupid moves…It’s unbelievable. Ok, Conley is a decent point guard. Great. Then don’t pay him as much as elite players!!! The Griz were only negociating against themselves!I mean, you can give him a qualifying offer, and he’s restricted next summer, WHEN THERE WILL BE A NEW cba, with much lower sallaries!!! Were those guys on drugs or something??

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  • Harlem_World

    Player salaries should be performance based. Stats, winning percentage, playoff success – all tied to a salary structure. Don’t pay players on potential, outside of rookie contracts. PROVE what you can do on the criteria listed (and you could go more in-depth than that, with stats analysis of decision making, clutch plays etc) and base pay scales on that scale.

  • Juice69

    Yeah …Mike need to thank his boy Greg Oden…..REALLY!