Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Case for Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph is a knucklehead, and certainly not my first choice for the Grizzlies' starting power forward.

However, there's a strong case for acquiring him IF the Grizzlies don't have to give up any basketball assets to do so.

(A basketball asset is a future first round draft pick or anyone Hakim Warrick or better. Anyone from Darrell Arthur though Marko Jarik is not considered a basketball asset.)

1. Zach Randolph has scored 20 points and averaged 10 rebounds in 6 of the past 6 seasons.

That's a serious upgrade over the Grizzlies current options at power forward. The Grizzlies would have 3 30-point options on the team.

2. Most other available power forwards haven't demonstrated the same level of individual success or haven't done so for more than a season. Going with Paul Milsap or David Lee may not carry the same character risks as going with Randolph, but the risk that those players aren't able to replicate their recent basketball sucess is higher.

Players like Lee and Milsap haven't demonstrated individual success consistently for more than a season or in a variety of different team scenarios. Other candidates (like Jason Thompson?!?!) haven't demonstrated near Randolph-like success for one season.

3. The best power forwards aren't exactly knocking down the door to get into Memphis.

If you check out Chris Herrington's excellent list of available power forwards, you might notice that there are several options that are significantly better than Zach Randolph. The chance that the Grizzlies will be able to land any of them is small. They've been trying, without success, for over a year. (Attempts at Beasley, Amare, and Randolph have all been reported.)

The Grizzlies can't afford to wait around if the opportunity to acquire Randolph without giving up a basketball asset arrives. The Grizzlies won't be able to compete in the free agent market when other teams have cap room to pursue players like Chris Bosh and Amare.

4. Trades for players with Randolph's ability or better will require the Grizzlies to give up basketball assets. Therefore, the net gain may not be as great even if the Grizzlies were able to land a player significantly better than Randolph.

Would you rather have a 100 inch TV for 5 grand or a 60 inch TV for 50 bucks?

(Still, there are players I'd rather have than Randolph.)

5. My biggest concern is that Randolph has not demonstrated success in the playoffs. However, looking through Herrington's list, most of the other players either haven't demonstrated much individual success, haven't demonstrated much team success, or, by my calculation, are a long shot to acquire.

Therefore, you won't hear me complain if the Grizzlies pull the trigger on a Randolph deal without giving up a basketball asset. He's not a perfect fit. There are significant risks involved, and it may not work out.

But this is exactly the type of risk-taking the Grizzlies have to go for to improve the team.


John said...

I think that targeting Millsaps would be another great option. True he hasn't proven consistent success like Randolph, but he didn't really have the chance either playing behind Boozer. Having seen Millsaps torch the Hornets multiple times last season he has clear potential to be dominant if given the starting spot. I am not sold on David Lee and some the top players (beasley, Boozer, Love) would come at too high of a price to make it worth our while. I agree with your Randolph take as well.

David Jones said...

I like Randolph because he can shoot from outside with consistency. This would allow Conley / Mayo pick and rolls (a la Paul / West).

Milsap brings toughness and rebounding, but pairing him with Thabeet (who also has limited offense) might not work.

Curt said...

Let's get the 100 inch TV!

Sam said...

It's July 1, I'm looking for some free agency scoop. What are your sources telling you?

David Jones said...

My sources tell me the Grizz trade for Zach Randolph. My sources are online newspapers and blogs.

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