The Memphis Grizzlies may be ready to start rebuilding, listening to trade offers for the NBA’s longest-tenured teammates.
Guard Mike Conley, 31, said Grizzlies owner Robert Pera had told both he and center Marc Gasol, 33, on Tuesday that they will be mentioned in potential trade talks.
Pera “called me just to make me aware that they were going to go about doing this,” Conley said after Wednesday’s shoot-around before their game against the Charlotte Hornets. “Outside of that, I haven’t really thought about it or heard much about it.”
Gasol declined to share details of his conversations with the Grizzlies owner, saying he considers those private. Gasol, who can opt out of his contract this summer, says he had not asked to be traded.
Conley and Gasol are the Grizzlies’ remaining cornerstone players having played their entire careers with Memphis.
Conley, a former Ohio State star, missed much of last season with a heel injury, and Memphis drafted Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth pick overall last June. The Grizzlies started this season 12-5 but went 7-23 after that. They went into Wednesday night’s game having lost 12 of 13.
“I don’t even understand why Mike is in those talks either,” Gasol said. “Mike is one heck of a player, and we’re going to need good players going forward.”
Conley said there was no indication in his talk with Pera that a trade will happen by the league’s deadline Feb. 7.
“It was just making us aware that our names would be thrown out there,” Conley said. “Not that one of us or both of us are going to be gone by next Tuesday or by All-Star break. I feel just as good about being here as the next person. I’m not worried right now. A lot can happen in a few weeks.”
Victor Oladipo hurt
The Indiana Pacers lost All-Star guard Victor Oladipo with an apparent right leg injury in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game against Toronto.
Trainers quickly put a towel over the leg and players from both teams surrounded Oladipo as he lay on the floor. Fans gave him a standing ovation as he was carted off the floor on a stretcher.
The injury occurred when Oladipo fell awkwardly while trying to defend an outlet pass to Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, who landed on top of Oladipo with 4:05 to go.
Oladipo made his first All-Star Game last season after being acquired in the trade for Paul George. He is the Pacers’ top scorer this season at 19.2 points per game.