1-on-1 with new Wolves point guard Mike Conley Jr.
For the Timberwolves, out goes D’Angelo Russell in comes Mike Conley Jr. and his proven experience as a distributor on the floor and a mentor off of it. Those skills were on display Friday in Memphis, and more so, in Monday’s win in Dallas.
On Tuesday, our Darren ‘Doogie’ Wolfson sat down with Conley Jr. It’s clear he’s pumped up to be playing for the Wolves.
***Click the video box above to watch our conversation with Conley Jr.***
Money played a role, with Russell’s contract expiring this summer and more than $31 million set to come off Minnesota’s salary cap charge. Conley is signed through the 2023-24 season, making about $9 million less. He’s more than 8 years older.
Conley’s previous success throwing lobs to and running pick-and-rolls with Rudy Gobert with the Jazz was also attractive to the Wolves. Minnesota paid a big price to get Gobert entering this season, but Russell never meshed with the big man.
Ultimately, there’s an immaturity the inconsistent Wolves are carrying that Wolves POBO Tim Connelly was clearly motivated to address by bringing in a well-regarded leader like Conley even though he has been limited by injuries in his 30s and isn’t nearly as quick at 35 as he once was.
“Mike as a rookie had elite habits, and they got better and better and better. You don’t play at this level at this age without taking care of yourself, without having a tremendous attention to detail both on and off the court,” Connelly said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story