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2023-24 NBA GM Survey: Would Mike Conley Make a Great Future Head Coach?

Uncle Mike may be the least talked about Timberwolves starter, but he does still get some deserved love from NBA General Managers.

Minnesota Timberwolves Production Day Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA GM survey comes out every year right before the season starts and always provides both so much controversy on who was selected and who was snubbed, and interesting insight into less covered topics.

As Timberwolves fans, we know that the mid-market up here in snowy Minnesota tends to leave us subject to be horribly snubbed in favor of the bigger market teams. It is uncanny how it seems as though these General Managers don’t take the time and effort to pay attention to or understand the Timberwolves other than to speculate about stars leaving for brighter lights and more storied franchises.

All this to say that we as fans are used to seeing Minnesota underrepresented in these types of exercises (cough... cough... Jaden McDaniels). Feelings of ill will aside, all the hype goes to the bigger categories - who will be Most Valuable Player? Who will win the Finals? Who is the best player at each position(PG, SG, SF, etc.)?

But one category that was much farther down the list piqued my interest: Who is the active player that would make the best head coach one day? That is where we see our favorite point guard land: Mike Conley.

*If you want to check out these rankings, the link is here

Minnesota Mike has always been held in high regard by his teammates and the league at-large. He is a quiet, calming presence for this team and organization and is cool as a cucumber no matter the circumstances (shoutout last year’s Play-In Tournament game against the Los Angeles Lakers on the road). Not to mention that he is also a four-time (and the most recent) winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

It seems to me and to most that he is the smartest player on the floor at all times. Often lauded as a ‘coach on the floor,’ Conley orchestrates the offense and will be imperative in maximizing the Gobert-Towns pairing to create a high-octane offense. He is so good at ensuring that everyone is in the right spot, and Wolves Head Coach Chris Finch trusts him to get everything together in order for it to be successful. All of these intangible and tangible things point to the same thing that many people, myself included, believe — Mike Conley will be a fantastic coach.

President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly deserves all the credit in the world for how he was able to execute the D’Angelo Russell trade. He found a way to flip D’Lo for the best possible point guard for this team, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and three second-round picks, which helped the Wolves move up to select Leonard Miller in last summer’s NBA Draft. Connelly has preached having good people in the organization and Conley fits that bill to a T. He is a mature player who leads by example. He can bring people together to work towards a common goal. Sounds like traits that you would want in a head coach.

Conley trailed only Chris Paul in the survey, who got 20% of the votes. Uncle Mike scored 13% of the votes in a tie for second with Garrett Temple of the Toronto Raptors. These guys are all seen as smart leaders who bring much more to the team than just their production on the floor.

We will get a deep dive into Conley’s basketball mind and be able to judge for ourselves just how awesome of a coach he will be with Jace Frederick’s twice monthly sit-down with Mike called “Conley’s Corner.” This will be unprecedented access to one of the most important pieces to this Minnesota roster as they attempt to make their unorthodox 2-big look function in the modern NBA. I am personally so excited to see a glimpse into the mind of Uncle Mike and how he sees the game at a high level.

During the first installment of this in depth look, Conley said, “I’m smarter, I’m more mature. I know every moment.” Having that deeper understanding along with the maturity blends together to create man that is supreme at leading people and more specifically leading a basketball team.

Mike’s illustrious career is coming to a close in the next few years whether we like it or not. At that point he will have to decide what is next for him. According to this survey and what we know about Conley, coaching is most definitely not out of the question. I know that any team would be lucky to have him head their team’s ship for years to come... and Finch can’t be our coach forever.

Minnesota Timberwolves Production Day Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images