Mike Conley is one part of the Mavericks' plan for free agency, as Dallas will pursue him and Hassan Whiteside simultaneously. The Grizzlies are still the favorites to retain the veteran point guard, but if Conley does leave, most people had been considering the Spurs to be the next most likely option.
Instead, two recent reports from both sides indicate that there's a very good chance that Conley won't be headed to San Antonio. First, ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported that Conley was hesitant about joining the Spurs because of Tony Parker. This has been the biggest sticking point for the Conley-to-the-Spurs plan, as Parker is signed for two more years at $27 million. Although Parker could potentially move to the bench, it still seems like a significant roster jam. While some suggested that the Spurs should sign-and-trade Conley for Parker, it's not a very Spursian move to ship away a player who has been synonymous with their franchise for years.
The second report came from Marc Stein on Wednesday, when he suggested that the Spurs also didn't have the level of interest that had originally been reported.
Maybe the biggest Spurs development tonight: One well-placed source insists San Antonio's free-agent interest in Mike Conley is overstated.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 29, 2016
Between those two reports, the Spurs seem much less likely to acquire Conley at this point. The Mavericks are considered candidates, with Conley keeping them in consideration due to his respect for Rick Carlisle. Although other teams will likely try to get in the mix with Conley, Dallas should be considered the frontrunners at this point if he leaves.
But still, Conley's most likely option is to take way more money in Memphis, more money than they could offer him. That's what the Grizzlies expect to happen. Conley has been with them his entire career and he flew to Spain to pitch Marc Gasol a future together in Memphis last summer, when Gasol was a free agent. Conley is a Dirk-like player in the way he cares about winning over money, but he also has Dirk-like loyalty, and ultimately may not be able to leave Memphis even if he isn't sure about their immediate future.
On Dallas' end, you also have to consider if the Mavericks are really that much better of a fit for Conley. They had nearly the exact same record last season, and it doesn't appear they're bringing back Chandler Parsons, the second best player on the team when healthy. Dirk Nowitzki is aging, their center situation is nonexistent and even if Whiteside is signed, he may not be the type of player that would appeal to Conley. There's a long ways to go before we can start assuming Conley will be in Dallas, but the Spurs' waning interest is at least a start.