USA TODAY Sports
All along, the Memphis Grizzlies felt confident about their chances to retain free agent Mike Conley and keep the Grit-n-Grind crew intact for at least a few more championship runs. But anything can happen during free agency, and as the silly season inched closer, there were whispers that the San Antonio Spurs might just swoop in and steal him out from under their nose.
But the 28-year-old point guard wasted little time on Friday when, according to several reports, he agreed to remain with his incumbent team on a five-year, $153 million contract.
Memphis and Mike Conley have agreed in principle on a five-year, $153 million deal, league sources say. Finer points "nearing conclusion."
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016
It wasn’t terribly surprising that Conley would opt to stay loyal to the only team and city he’s known during his professional career. What was a bit surprising, however, was the astronomical nature of the deal. That $153 million over five years just edged out Damian Lillard for the largest contract in NBA history (the Blazers guard signed for $152 million over the same time period last summer).
And it wasn’t the only big deal of opening day for Memphis. The Grizzlies reported earlier that they had also inked Chandler Parsons to a four-year max contract worth about $94 million. If Parson’s knees can hold up and Marc Gasol returns fully-healthy from a foot injury that sidelined him the second half of last season, the Grizzlies are surely in a much better position to make some noise in the Western Conference next year.