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Mike Conley as Mavericks' top target in free agency makes sense

The 28 year old point guard has been mentioned as the Mavs' top target, but is he worth it?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks have opened the last four seasons with different point guards, and that's not including the amount of players who have taken on that role throughout the seasons since the Dallas Mavericks parted with Jason Kidd.

So when rumors surfaced that Mike Conley is the team's top target this summer, it showed that Mark Cuban is ready to stabilize the position and give Rick Carlisle a consistent face to lead the offense. Then when even more rumors surfaced that the team might actually have a chance at the Memphis Grizzlies' guard, reactions seemed mixed.

The Mavs do have a poor history of getting their man: Dwight Howard, Deron Williams (the first time around, that is), DeAndre Jordan, and it seems to go on and on. To make matters worse, the team has struggled with Plan Bs, which has resulted in the team scraping the bottom of the barrel since 2011 to round out the roster.

So why even bother with Conley?

The Mavericks really don't have a choice

The team has desperately tried to find a point guard to mesh with Carlisle. Outside of Conley, the market is terribly dry. Jeremy Lin, Ty Lawson and Brandon Jennings don't exactly move the needle for a team trying to climb up the West ranks.

Honestly, outside of Conley or a lopsided trade, the best option at point guard for Dallas is retaining Deron Williams, who the team risks losing in a Conley pursuit.

The Carlisle factor

If there's one thing we know about Carlisle, it's that he expects the most out of his point guards. Conley is one of the few point guards who can take on that responsibility and more. He's a positive on both ends of the court, takes care of the ball (career average is two turnovers per game), and is able to play on and off the ball (career 37.3 percent 3-point shooting).

Style of play

This is where the Mavericks can make their biggest pitch. During his career, Conley has been stuck with two great big men and not much else. The Grizzlies have been in the bottom half of the league in 3-point percentage the last five seasons. They've also been in the bottom three in possessions per game the last four.

Conley could be enticed with the idea of playing in a faster and more spaced out offense with a projected starting unit of Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki.


The Mavericks can't offer the five-year max the Grizzlies can, which creates a $40 million difference between the two sides, but if there's one thing the Mavs have shown to do, which isn't exactly the best thing (J.J. Barea!!!), is that they will take care of their players financially (Except Tyson Chandler, that is).

Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson could work out a four-year max with a opt out option after the third season, which allows Conley to seek one final big payday at 31-years old. And who knows what the cap will be at by then.

Prying Conley away from the Grizzlies won't be easy. But as slim as it may be, taking this chance on Conley is worth the risk considering the Mavs' history at the position.