SALT LAKE CITY — Memphis point guard Mike Conley rebuffed a widespread rumor that he doesn't want to play in Utah — or anywhere in the Western Conference, for that matter.
Hours before trade deadline Thursday, Conley told reporters at the Grizzlies' shootaround that he doesn't have a preference about which conference he'd like to play in. Reports from respected NBA media members surfaced Wednesday that the 11-year NBA veteran, whom the Jazz are reportedly trying to acquire in a trade before today's 1 p.m. deadline, wanted to head East not West.
Not true, Conley says.
"I’ll play anywhere," Conley said. "I never ran from a conference or any particular place. I don't know where that came from."
ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on Wednesday's episode of "The Jump Show" that Conley's agent said despite progress the Jazz were making in procuring a trade for the talented veteran that the 31-year-old would rather play in the Eastern Conference.
The New York Times' Marc Stein reported that he'd heard the same thing about Conley.
Conley's agent is his father — Mike Conley, Sr., of BDA Sports Management — but he insisted that that mentality was not from him.
"I never said that," Conley said. "When I saw that on the internet, I just let it go because no reason for me to get between that stuff."
As a courtesy, the Jazz did inform the two main pieces in the rumored Conley trade package — Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio — that there have been talks but nothing has yet been solidified, Jazz beat writer Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reported.
The trade deadline is 1 p.m. MT.