Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies will be one of the players to headline the 2016 free agency class alongside Kevin Durant and Al Horford. In terms of point guards, the Memphis star is the best available at the position and will aim to get paid like it. With interest growing in Conley, the Grizzlies expect him to return next season.
Conley is expected to re-sign with the Grizzlies before he even has a chance to test the market, according to team executive vice president Ed Stefanski in an interview with Sirius XM NBA Radio. The Grizzlies have done a good job of keeping their in-house talent. They were able to re-sign both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol despite outside interest. Stefanski expects to be able to do the same with Conley this year.
"At trade deadline, we didn't even think about trading Mike," Stefanski said. "We have all intentions of bringing Mike back. He has made it known that he loves Memphis. Will he go on the recruiting trips? Sure, because these guys were recruited for college at 17 years old and they haven't been recruited since, so they like to get a little love, which is fine. And Mike will go out there, but we'll be right there and when it's all said and done, I believe Mike will be back in a Grizzly uniform."
Conley will demand a max contract, according to his former head coach Lionel Hollis, via ESPN.com. The point guard would be able to earn a five-year deal from the Grizzles while any other team could only offer four years. Hollins believes that Conley is ready to chase the money over things like team loyalty.
"I don't know if Michael looks elsewhere but that might end up being the best move," Hollins said. "Mike is at that crossroads where he's  years old. He's coming up on a contract year. He wants to get paid. Will Memphis pay him as much as somebody else?"
The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are expected to make runs at Conley according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com. Neither team is built to win right away nor can they offer the same amount of money that Memphis can. They will also both be undergoing changes this summer in terms of the head coach position. That does not make them the most appealing landing spots, but if Memphis comes up short in the contract it offers, Conley could head elsewhere once the market opens up.