Zach Randolph must’ve really impressed the Memphis brass’ during his Game 1 destruction of the Spurs.
As we mentioned in Smack this morning, Randolph and the Grizzlies have agreed to terms on an extension for the big man, worth $66 million in guaranteed money over four years. The final year of the deal is a player option, and Randolph also has an opportunity to make an extra $5 million in incentives. He is expected to officially sign the deal either today or tomorrow.
So now going forward, the team that didn’t want to sign anyone and willingly gave away many of their best assets (Pau Gasol anyone?) is now ponying up. First, Rudy Gay got his money. Mike Conley too. Now, it’s Z-Bo’s turn to cash in on the team’s success. Also this offseason, Marc Gasol is a restricted free-agent and stands to make enough money to finally cut that beard.
For Memphis, I guess this means they’re going all in. You can’t really blame them. If Gay is healthy right now, how good could they really be? Replace Sam Young with a guy who had finally started passing up deep, one-dribble pull-ups and was actually playing defense while still dropping 20 points a night, and Memphis would probably look like a 50-plus win team right now.
I’ll admit I was never a huge Randolph guy. I saw him as the definition of the “hollow-stat” player. 20 and 10, yes. But all of that came with a cost. He never won, never made anyone else better and never played much defense. He got his numbers, but eventually those come with labels and stereotypes. How much emphasis can we put on one game? When it’s your franchise’s first playoff win, a win that came on the road against the number-one seed who also happen to have the greatest power forward ever, then I guess a lot. Memphis definitely did, giving him his money a few hours after perhaps the biggest game of his career (25 points, 14 rebounds in yesterday’s Game 1 win).
For the Grizzlies, all of this spending is a start. Now, it’s just a question of whether the winning is a fling or if it’s destined to be a longer-than-usual romance. That’s something that won’t really be determined until we see the effects of all this money being thrown around.
Is Zach Randolph worth the money?
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