“I think everything will be on the table when that time comes,” Conley said Friday morning after the Grizzlies’ shootaround at Madison Square Garden. “I haven’t committed to anything.”
Conley will be one of the top point guards on the free agent market in the summer of 2016. The Knicks probably will be one of several teams to pursue him.
If Conley seeks a maximum contract, which starts at $25 million in Year One, it's worth noting the Knicks probably would need to shed some salary to afford him.
Here is a breakdown of the Knicks’ 2016 cap space and what needs to happen for the club to sign a max player.
Conley, who turns 29 in October, would bolster the Knicks’ back court. He has career averages of 13.5 points, 5.6 assists and three rebounds.
Conley’s quote about potentially playing in New York isn’t worth overanalyzing, though. It’s standard for pending free agents to keep their options open. It provides potential leverage in negotiations.
For what it’s worth, Conley spoke highly of the Knicks’ roster when asked about it on Friday.
“They’ve got talent, obviously,” he said. “I think [Kristaps] Porzingis surprised a lot of people. He’s going to be very, very good in this league. He already is pretty good. But he’s going to grow each year, and they already have one of the best small forward in Melo [Carmelo Anthony]. They’ve got a young team, so they’ve got a lot of room to improve.”
It’s worth noting here that Conley has spent his entire career in Memphis. Teammate Zach Randolph jokingly said to members of the New York media on Friday that there was no way Conley would end up in New York.
Memphis can offer Conley a five-year max contract that starts at $25 million with annual raises as high as 7.5 percent. Other teams, such as the Knicks, can offer Conley a four-year max deal that starts at $25 million with annual raises as high as 4.5 percent.
Conley also can take advantage of the surging salary cap by signing a two-year deal with an opt out in year two, which could allow him to sign a contract worth more money annually in the summer of 2017.
Conley said none of these scenarios is on his mind at the moment.
“When the offseason comes you make the decision with your family and do what’s best for you and for the situation,” Conley said. “So I’m just going to try to keep it at that.”
The veteran added that he has no ‘pact’ with Marc Gasol to stay in Memphis after Gasol's decision to re-sign with the Grizzlies over the summer.
“Just like [Gasol] did last year, it’s something that I’m going to wait and talk about later,” Conley said. “At the end of the day, it is a business and anything can happen. But obviously they know how I feel about Marc and my teammates here.”
In other Memphis news, Matt Barnes is questionable for Friday’s game due to a hamstring injury. Barnes said he will get treatment later Friday before determining his status for the game.
In his conversation with reporters, Barnes said that he wanted to talk solely about basketball and not answer any questions about his October incident with Derek Fisher.
Barnes was fined $35,000 for comments about Fisher leading up to the Knicks-Grizzlies game last month. Fisher and Barnes were in an altercation in October at the home of Barnes’ ex-wife. Barnes was suspended two games for his role in the altercation.