its being reported that the memphis grizzlies have agreed to sign mike conley to a 5 year, $45 million extension. conley did have a good preseason and his regular season numbers are up this year (15 pts, 8 ast), but its only been three games. keeping in mind that beantown got rondo for 5 years, $55 million this past summer, i would say memphis got jacked like a flat tire.
considering that payroll throughout the league will shrink for next year, and considering that memphis is one of the most poorly attended teams in the league (28th in the league out 30 in 2009-10), and considering that david stern has talked contraction, i think denvers chances of landing gasol are improving. http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance/_/year/2010
gasol is only on contract with the grizz through the end of next season, the same is true of z-bo. memphis has indicated that they would like to resign both players. z-bo is pulling down a whopping $17 million this season and expects his contract to be renewed at that same level. he even compares himself to pau gasol and thinks they should be paid similarly…i shit you not.(http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/04/12/zach-randolph-seeks-pau-gasol-like-contract-extension/) one has to think that m. gasol will command at least $10 million a season if not more. i personally wouldn’t mind if the nuggs went a little higher than $10 milli to land him. noah just got the same price and i would actually take gasol over noah (and i like noah). In addition to all this, oj mayo is only signed through 20120-2013 and will possibly be looking for max money as well. right now, memphis is on the hook for $34 million in payroll for next season. That does not include salaries for z-bo or gasol and i don’t think that figure is adjusted for the new conley contract either. (http://hoopshype.com/salaries/memphis.htm).
in summary, somethings gotta give in memphis. signing both z-bo and gasol to large contracts this summer is going to be hard for a team that has awful attendance and didn’t turn a profit last season (http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/32/basketball-values-09_NBA-Team-Valuations_Income.html). if i worked in the memphis front office id let z-bo walk or try to sign him to a smaller contract (which he probably wont go for), and do whatever was needed to keep gasol. but considering the foolish contract just awarded by the grizz front office, its safe to think anything could happen and the nuggs just might be able to capitalize on it.