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Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff confident Mike Conley will be ready for training camp

J.B. Bickerstaff, Mike Conley, Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff is confident that starting point guard Mike Conley will be ready to join his teammates for training camp after suffering a season-ending injury last season, according to Mark Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal.

“There’s no doubt about it,” said Bickerstaff. “Mike’s been playing pick up, those types of things. Chandler’s been playing pick up … For the first time in a long time, we’re looking at walking into training camp with healthy bodies and healthy, high caliber players. Not just guys who would be your 13th or 14th man. We’ve got our studs healthy, which we’re looking forward to.”

The Grizzlies wound up among the bottom of the Western Conference after one of Marc Gasol’s worst seasons in Memphis and an early-season injury to Conley, who played in only 12 games in 2017-18.

The 6-foot-1 lefty point guard was coming off a career-best season in 2016-17, which ultimately somewhat justified a five-year, $152.6 million deal signed in the summer of 2016. Averages of 20.5 points, 6.3 assists, and a career-high 40.7 percent from deep were encouraging signs for Grind City, but a fallout with former coach David Fizdale spelled only the beginning of a ghastly season for the Grizzlies.

The 30-year-old will make a beefy $30.5 million this season and will need to start showing glimpses of his worth sooner than later, as he could become a trade candidate if he can’t prove himself up to par with his hefty deal.