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NBA News: Timberwolves Agree to Extension with Veteran Guard

Jan 31, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley (10) takes part in an interview after defeating the Dallas Mavericks at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mike Conley have agreed to a two-year, $21 million extension.

Conley’s three-year deal was set to expire at the end of this season. This extension will keep Conley on the books through 2026.

This season, the 36-year-old is averaging 10.6 points, 6.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. Additionally, Conley is shooting a career-high 44.2% from the three-point line.

According to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, this extension had been in the works “for weeks“:

The Timberwolves have been working for weeks to get Mike Conley extended. Tim Connelly got ownership on board fairly early in the season. Conley wanted to be in Minnesota and the two sides reached agreement over the break.

NBA News: Timberwolves Agree to Extension with Veteran Guard

Mike Conley’s Impact on the Timberwolves

17 years into his NBA career, Conley is still a great point guard. Furthermore, Conley is the perfect two-way guard alongside Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Rudy Gobert. Off the court, Conley appears to be a strong leader and a good presence in the locker room. A couple of months ago, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch talked about Conley’s leadership skills:

He’s everybody’s big brother. Calm, steady. Not super vocal in any rah-rah way but when he talks, everyone is listening. … Whether he wanted to be the leader of this team or not, our guys look to him, and he’s taken it and run with it.

Last month, in an article for The Athletic, Krawczynski and Kelly Iko said there may be an argument that Conley is Minnesota’s most valuable player:

I can’t tell you how many times we walk into the locker room after a Wolves game, win or loss, and Edwards is picking Conley’s brain. Conley isn’t afraid to tell the young fella when he messes up. But he’s also swift to praise him when he does the right thing. You could make an argument that Conley is the most valuable player on the team. They don’t have another great point guard option behind him, and he’s also hit a ton of big shots in his relatively short time in Minnesota.

The Last Word on Mike Conley’s Extension

It is obvious Conley is not the best player currently wearing a Timberwolves jersey, but his value is clear as day. The 39-16 Timberwolves currently own the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in huge part due to Conley’s contributions. Signing a strong veteran like Conley on a team-friendly deal is a no-brainer for Minnesota.

That said, Conley is likely not a long-term option. At the Trade Deadline earlier this month, the Timberwolves traded for point guard Monte Morris. Morris is eight years younger than Conley and already has a fan in Finch:

Hopefully, 48 minutes of Mike Conley-esque basketball. We have a seamless transition, and that’s no disrespect to Monte, he’s got his own game. But he takes care of the ball, super smart, can get you in and out of the stuff you need to, balls gonna go where it needs to, can execute a game plan at a high level.

Morris is a free agent after this season, but it would not be shocking if the Timberwolves re-sign him to learn from Conley for the next few seasons.

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