NBA Roundtable

Grizzlies Notes

In General NBA on June 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Zach Randolph Contract Extension?

The Memphis Commercial reports

They still plan to take the best player available regardless of position during the June 24 draft.

They still plan to re-sign Rudy Gay and Ronnie Brewer during the free-agent period.

They still plan to negotiate with Zach Randolph regarding a contract extension.

The article continues

The issue of whether Randolph will receive a contract extension that will keep him in a Grizzlies uniform beyond this season remains centered on finances. Randolph’s future hinges squarely on how much of a pay cut he’s willing to accept.

In the meantime, the Griz will continue to look for shooting, backcourt help and ways to bolster their bench with Randolph wholeheartedly in their plans.


Last Year = Anomaly?

The Grizzlies need to be very careful about handing Zach Randolph a large contract extension. He is coming off the best season of his career, a year that was so far from what he has done in the past that it is unclear whether he can repeat it … and repeat it, and repeat it again, and maintain that level throughout his contract.

Randolph has never played with that level of offensive efficiency before and it made a huge difference to his overall impact. So too did his new found work ethic in the offseason to come into camp in shape.

I wouldn’t even consider offering Randolph an extension until he proved himself next season.

Contracts + Cap Flexibility

  • Zach Randolph = large extension worth $12+ million per annum
  • Rudy Gay = $10+ million per annum
  • Ronnie Brewer = MLE money
  • Marc Gasol = entering final year of his deal and will be due $8-10+ million

That is a total of $35-40 million for four players. Add OJ Mayo’s new contract once he gets off his rookie deal and you have another $10 million on top of that. Hasheem Thabeet’s deal, their 2010 draft pick, and filling out the rest of the roster will add around another $10 million. Now you’re at $55-60 million. Then you have Mike Conley or a replacement point guard who will demand a further $5-6 million and you’re up at $60-65 million.

The Grizzlies have good cap flexibility at the moment but they need to thread lightly because they could throw it all away in short notice.

Once they do that, their team will be too good to earn high draft picks, won’t have enough cap flexibility to acquire top talents in free agency, and has some solid trade assets but most of them are playing key roles in the side already. The road to improvement … from that point … is one filled with unknowns and it could all end very badly for Memphis.

Personally, I wouldn’t sign Randolph to an extension and I would still consider the Grizzlies to be in the early stages of a rebuilding process. I am not convinced that they have a good enough core to try and build around long term.

Grizzlies Links

A couple of interesting articles in the Memphis Commercial

Heisley continues to insist that he is prepared to retain Gay at all costs.

“Rudy is going to be out there. But here’s the No. 1 thing: The option on what we pay him is mine,” Heisley said. “So when I say we’re going to have Rudy next year, that’s a pretty good indication that we’re going to have him.”

And more on the Grizzlies summer plans

After learning the Griz failed to move up in the draft lottery and will select 12th, Heisley emphatically declared that his starting unit will remain in tact. His preference is to add an “impact player” through trade, using one or all of the team’s three first-round draft picks.

Heisley indicated he’s not interested in sign-and-trade deals for Gay. He doesn’t sound like a man who is instructing his basketball brain trust to come up with a replacement for Gay in the draft.

Memphis already has tried to swap all three first-round picks for one high pick to no avail. It’s plausible the Griz will select a player at 12 and look to move their last two picks.

Another scenario has the Griz moving all three picks or a combination of them for an established NBA player.

  • Mike Conley article — link
  • Grizzlies goals are to improve defense + bench + add shooters — the team is talking about changing the supporting cast and building around their current core and starting five — link
  • Zach Randolph: Best Grizzlies player ever? Pau or Randolph? — link

General Notes + Notes On Hollins Interview

  • Both Lionel Hollins (Head Coach) + Chris Wallace (GM) said that they are not trying to turn OJ Mayo into a point guard and that they believe his long term future is as a two guard. Hollins does not feel that Mayo can play the point guard position full time.
  • Hollins also expressed strong admiration for Mike Conley’s talents at the position.
  • Michael Heisley feels the team has a good chance to make the playoffs next season but Lionel Hollins disagrees and cites the current strength of the playoff teams in the Western Conference.
  • Hollins said the team was overmatched physically at the 1, 2, 4 and 5 positions. He also cited the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons of the late 80’s as a team in similar predicament and mentioned how they acquired Dennis Rodman and John Salley to come off their bench to offset that lack of athleticism.
  1. I agree with your take on Z-Bo… I was shocked at how he played this year, and think his value needs to be viewed in the context of his history (on and off-court). If I were the Grizz, I’d try my darndest to sell high!

    Re Mayo, I don’t think he’s a starting-quality 2 on an elite team. Perhaps a combo guard off the bench, but I think if he wants to become an elite-level player, his future HAS to be at the 1. I do think he can do it, albeit likely not in a system where he has to be the primary distributor of the ball.

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