Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  82 responses

Zach Randolph is Now Memphis’ Problem

by Marcel Mutoni

Breathe easy, Clippers fans. Zach Randolph will not be around to potentially ruin the Blake Griffin Experience. Instead, he’s off to Memphis, and coming back to Clipper-ville is the artist formerly known as Quentin Richardson.

The Grizzlies will happily take Z-Bo (and the $33 million guaranteed to him over the next two seasons) off the Clippers’ hands. Their fans, I can only imagine, must be filled with joy. The only people happier are those who cheer for the Clippers.

From the LA Times:

Zach, we hardly knew ye. Having become the all-time leading Los Angeles Clippers scorer in his 39 games with the team, Zach Randolph was packaged for delivery to Memphis on Wednesday when the teams agreed to a deal that will bring back former Clipper Quentin Richardson, and open a starting spot for rookie Blake Griffin…Randolph, a low-post scoring machine, averaged 20.9 points a game in his short stint here, eclipsing Elton Brand’s Los Angeles Clippers career mark of 20.3.

In a surprise, the Clippers didn’t do it to dump salary. Owner Donald T. Sterling actually resisted the move when a similar deal with Memphis came up on draft day, saying he wanted to do it only if it was a “basketball decision.” When his people said it was a basketball decision, the deal was resurrected. Nevertheless, with Randolph under contract for two more seasons at $33 million, and Richardson on the last year of his deal at $8.7 million, it will impact their bottom line, and, with their payroll now far below the salary cap after this season, can make them a major player in the big 2010 free-agent class.

Welcome to the starting lineup (and the expectations that come with it), Blake Griffin. We hope you enjoy your stay here.

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  • rav

    and there goes OJ mayo and rudy gay’s careers down the toilet…

  • http://dsfkl.com Jukai

    Uhhhh can someone explain this to me?

  • http://ballislife.com Moose

    Conley, Mayo, Gay, Randolph, Thabeet….if they live up to their potential, this isn’t that bad. I mean, not close to playoffs, but…

  • neaorin

    Great move for the clips. Now all they gotta do is find someone who will take Mike Dunleavy away from them.

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    Title made me laugh. Well done, Marcel.

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    I think its good for Memphis

  • rav

    jukai – someone has made a trade solely based on individual stats whilst not realising that the player in question not only takes the stats away from his teammates but has a negative impact on team chemistry (ever noticed how portland and NY got better when they let him go?)

  • sab

    “Clippers in sensible move shock” !!
    i’m not sure what’s in it for Memphis tho

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Ummm Moose, Marc Gasol is more important to the Grizzlies success than everone except OJ and Rudy. Believe that.

  • Canuck

    If someone could maybe make a list of the possible pros of this trade for Memphis that would be wonderful.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    how did this trade work? zachs 16.5 mil for qs 8.7?????

  • niQ

    wow. Memphis has suddenly become a completely offensivly minded team. This trade is actually good for them! I don’t pay much attention to the Griz but with Mayo, Gay, Randolph in your starting line up (along with probably conley and gasol), this looks like a good starting line up already! And that’s saying a lot for Mayo since it’s just his 2nd season. MAN, the season hasn’t even started and I’m loving every team’s moves so far! (well except what NJ has done upon themselves, and milwaukee seems kinda empty without RJ and Charlie V.. they just have good PG’s.. )

  • neaorin

    @Tarzan: the Grizz are under the cap.

  • From Out of Nowhere

    And with that, Z-Bo joins Darius Miles, Bonzi Wells, and Damon Stoudamire in the “former Jail Blazers who later joined the Grizzlies” club.

    It’s kind of funny that he almost got traded on draft day by a team that had the #1 pick for the second time.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    If Z-Bo was a stock, he would have been off of the NASDAQ list 2 years ago.

  • http://dsfkl.com Jukai

    Anyone who says this trade is good for the Grizz doesn’t watch basketball.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Maybe it’s just because it’s morning, but I can’t figure this one out at all.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    this trade is good for the grizz, they now have a legit 20 ppg low post scorer. plus, conley, mayo, and gay are smart enough to not give him the ball so much. nice move.


    why would anyone take up Z-BO’s contract let alone Memphis who is trying to put together a young squad ???!!! what a silly move!!! he will stil get you 20 & 10 untill he ends up getting into a fist fight with gasol for stealing his water bottle LOLLL

  • Michael

    how exactly will he continue to be a 20ppg scorer if he doesnt have the ball so much?

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    The title of this article made me laugh…The only 20-10 player that everyone is trying to get rid of…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    GM’s get an itchy trigger finger in the summer – and hope it won’t bite them in the derriere come fall.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    they will force him to be more efficient. you better believe gay and mayo will be taking more shots than him, but we will see. i can see zach having a positive impact on the team. or hakim destroying him in practice.

  • larrylegend

    and q-rich is now clippers’ problem…

  • Alan

    I’m beginning to think the Grizz hate themselves…

  • Tenorca

    That title is perfect. Bra. Vo. I’m glad the Griz took him before the Warriors got the same horrible, horrible idea.

  • nicko

    trade him for shaq!

  • matt

    they can do this without matching salaries because they were both under the cap, right? i say it’s great for the clips. they are building a good team–i hope b-diddy is excited and their owner doesn’t screw it up.

  • http://dsfkl.com Jukai

    Tarzan once again showing his childhood love of paint chips.

  • Statik

    Mike Dunleavy will find a way to screw it up

  • niQ

    i forgot they had thabeet. who’s going to start for PF and C? and i don’t know what’s wrong with the site but i noticed my name was “nicko” before i even typed.. but i changed it before submitting….

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    Can someone explain to columnist Mark Heisler, that having the highest scoring average for a single season, expcially when you only play 39 games, does NOT make you the “all time leading scorer” for said franchise.

  • The D Train

    Someone please explain how there will be enough shots for Rudy, OJ and Z-Bo. Anyone? Anyone? And if I’m not mistake Zack has 2 years at something like 28 million a year whilst Q expires after this year. Does this trade make any sense at all? What in holy hell is Memphis doing? Oh well…from someone who lived the Z-Bo experience in Portland, let me say this: “Have fun Memphis, and start combing your local police blotters every morning. You will NOT be disappointed.”

  • http://www.sprint.com/pre dma

    sterling needs to sign dmiles. STAT!

  • Jeronimo

    I understand that the Grizz need help at power forward, but c’mon.

  • onlyclipfanonslam

    Dun is turning people’s opinions around, but only as a GM. His coaching grade is still an INCOMPLETE. Q will not play much at all. The Clips win this trade easy, they get more cap space, another expiring contract to use at the trade deadline or just more money to spend to extend Gordon. I think there is one more move to happen. Dun and Kaman were having problems at the end of the season.

  • AmirC

    It works because Memphis has money this year for Free Agency, I like the trade because now they have a goto inside presence in the post

  • AmirC

    There’s plenty of shots to go around. For basketball fans out there, teams usually get to about 100 possessions a game. If Z-Bo, OJ, and RGay take 20 shots a piece or 60 between the 3 there’s still enough for the other 2 starters and bench (kind of like how the Celtics manage possesions)

  • tavoris

    the D train…I think at the point, Z-bo will have to accept being a horribly OVERPAID 6th man-which would be a good look on a team who had trouble scoring once Gay and Mayo left the court.

  • The D Train

    tavoris: Sorry man, but Z-Bo has never really been the type that accepts what is in the teams best interest. You want a me-first head-case on your team, you’ve got your man. You want a guy who is willing to sit behind (who would start ahead of him, exactly?) someone and play the good soldier, you’d better look somewhere else. There is a reason this post is titled, “Zach Randolph is Now Memphis’ Problem”.

  • Marco

    Tarzan there is no way in the world that a human that shares a basketball court with z-bo takes more shots than him.no way

  • http://www.anwilson.blogspot.com rainman10

    Zach Randolph is the most hated on, and lamest 20 and 10 guy ever.

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    I can’t believe any team would ever trade for Zach Randolph at this point. There’s no way any other NBA player can tolerate him.

  • LeMay

    I love idiots. Even though Randolph isnt the best teammate he gives you an automatic 20 and 10 a night…qrich gives you virtually nothing other than 2 3′s a night. Griffin was the top pick in one of the worste drafts ever and dominated a shitty confrence in college basketball. Clipper fans must be so pumped. And the griz will have a much better year than the clips esp if they get Iverson to come off the bench in the off season. I know iversons slowing down but on paper this griz team could crack an 8 spot. as for the clips cya in the lottery

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Haha Jukai! That was funny.

  • Ken

    Somewhere Marbury is saying: “they got Zach Randolph y’all!”

  • http://www.hoopsmanifesto.blogspot.com Jeff Fox

    Zach is what we like to call a cancer. Its funny that teams he plays for keep getting the #1 overall pick and promptly get rid of him before he infects their new franchise player!

  • seven deuce

    Addition by subtraction, good move for LA. As soon as they got the #1 pick, I was wondering who the sucker team was that would take Z-Bo. And Memphis Bleak definitely fits the bill. He’s ball hogged, played horrible defense and fought teammates at each previous stop. If it stops now, go to church – it’s a sign.

  • http://slamonline Blaze

    Im not gonna hate on Z-Bo. Yes its true he has a bad attitude, and he does take shots away from his teammates, and hes over-paid, but he could be a 20 and 10 guy, a poor mans Barkley. And he WILL spend his money I saw him and Quintel Woods at lloyd center (Portland’s biggest mall) years ago, each with like 15 shopping bags in hand. Must be nice,

  • tavoris

    the d train – that point would hold validity if Z-Bo had any leverage against the Grizzlies (i.e. legit trade interest). If he is a malcontent, then Jamaal Tinsley him and develop your young team…

  • Rusty

    Z BO my main man,can you imagine a team with this starting line up – PG Starbury,SG A.I,SF Artest,PF Z BO,C DIESAL. Instantly my fav team ever.

  • The D Train

    Wonder if Z-Bo had too many bags and Q was just helping him carry? Hmmmm.

  • http://slamonline Blaze

    strange,why did my name come up as the D

  • alapatrick

    anyone else thinking clippers for lebron??
    imagine this

    b diddy at the one
    e gordan at 2
    lebron at 3
    griffin at 4
    kaman at 5

    deandre jordan mike taylor plus whoever else


  • http://slamonline Blaze

    sounds good slapstick, but thats about as likely as Sheed and AI to the jazz.

  • The D Train

    tavoris: You did not answer who would be starting in front of Zach. And to say my point does not “hold validity” because Zach has no leverage and they can just “Jamal Tinsley” him seems rather short sided considering they will be paying Z-Bo around 17 million this year. So yeah, I’d say the statement that he is not a team-first guy who would handle being a backup (which I still don’t know who he’s backing up…do you think he’ll sit behind Arthur or Warrick…after all he is a 20-10 machine, right?) in less than stellar fashion is a very valid point at that price-tag, especially at 2 years. Z-Bo has been a 20-10 machine and a disaster at every turn. His attitude and decision-making skills have been in question since his days at MSU, if not earlier. As previously mentioned in this posting, both Portland and LA traded him away before their #1 picks could have more than minimal contact with him. There would seem to be some sort of reason for that, eh? Usually where there is smoke, there is fire. And Z-Bo is definitely followed around by a big ol’ cloud of smoke.

  • mike

    Grizz better be on TV next year, MAYO, GAY, z-BO.

  • simmy sosa

    NO!!!!! I don’t care what this does for the clips/grizzlies. This move sucks for the Spurs!!! We were going to make a move for Camby, but now thats unlikely with the Clips having traded some of their depth. F you Donald Sterling…

  • yaway

    Ron Artest is signing with the Lakers. (And Ariza is leaving)

  • http://Nicekicks.com Meloman20

    This trade is confusing because i had no idea Q rih was ever on the Grizzlies

  • http://myspace.com/edilvia_da_best edilvia4sho

    This is great. We actually get to see Blake play from starting day!

  • mike

    The deal benefit more on clippers side.

  • mike

    Conley, Mayo, Gay, Randolph, Thabeet just wait until these young player develop. I could see Memphis up in the conference finals in a couple of years.

  • Cmac

    @meloman20 yeah you may have missed the darko for Q trade. wasn’t huge news….

    oh and i actually think this is a good trade for memphis. do i think ZBo will retire in memphis….no way… but still i think they could use some dominant scoring in the post and hasheem will complient well without having to be a scorer

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Z-Bo just wanted to get as far away from Ruben Patterson as possible. Maybe he forgot Ruben doesn’t live in LA. Silly Zach.

  • chintao

    Hilarious that the LA Times (what a piece of sh!t) thinks that the Clips even have the potential to sign a free agent of consequence in 2010.

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    chuck fest.
    OJ/Rudy/Zach. wow. and chintao, LeBron is coming to the Clippers. dont hate

  • Mo

    We all knew this move was coming didn’t we? I never understood what the Clippers we’re trying to do last year when they bought or traded for all these selfish, me first players in baron davis, zach randolph, ricky davis, etc…did the owner really think they could win with Davis running the point? Keep Blake and trade away the rest of that team!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Baron Davis is good. Calm down Mo.

  • tavoris

    The D-train…I don’t disagree with you about Randolph’s destructive personality. Memphis drafted Thabeet to be their center, so Gasol can move back to his natural spot (PF). I doubt Randolph’s 20-10 are necessarily needed if Thabeet if effective defensively. However, if Thabeet falters, then he’s likely to get those minutes. I didn’t answer your question because I figured it was common knowledge in basketball circles that Marc Gasol is a natural PF.

    on a side note-why do posters up here expect you to comment or answer every question one poses?

  • http://www.thehighposts.com/ POE

    Perhaps the Griz can sign Iverson so that they can have 4 guys looking to get the inbound pass from Gasol, then dribble the ball up court… and then shoot it without looking to pass. They are gonna suck again… and for years to come. Comedic if it wasn’t so tragic.

  • The D Train

    common knowledge that Marc Gasol, at 7’1, is in fact a natural PF? anyone? anyone?

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/482871/cj_king.html CJK

    The D Train- Dirk is 7’0 and is a PF. KG is 6’11″ and a PF. Pau Gasol, Marc’s brother, is 7’0 and a PF (when Bynum is healthy at least). Being 7’1 doesn’t mean he’s automatically a center. But given his strength and physical style I can see how being a C would make more sense than PF.

  • http://www.casino.de/ casino

    It would really be great if you have a favorite sport that you regularly play. It helps your body stay fit and healthy.

  • The D Train

    Dirk’s game is very similar to Marc G’s? Not sure I agree. Pau is an interior player who plays C whilst Lamar plays PF…yes? Or would you say that Lamar plays SF, which means Ariza plays SG, which means Kobe plays PG, which means Fisher plays what, exactly? So no, Gasol is in no freakin’ way a “natural PF” in all “basketball circles”. That is just plain retarded reasoning. So I guess I should have specified: Marc Gasol, at 7’1 with clear basketball skills indicating he best fits at the center position, is in fact a natural PF? anyone? anyone?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Tenorca Posted: Jul.2 at 11:26 am
    That title is perfect. Bra. Vo. I’m glad the Griz took him before the Warriors got the same horrible, horrible idea.
    Hah, I remember this was distinctly also in the long list of bad ideas out of Tim Kawakami a little while back. Fear The Beard had a nice quick link/one liner about it, saying Tim fought with the ESPN trade machine and broke it (or something to paraphrase).

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    And KG is actually, quote: “6’13″ look that one up. Z-Bo’s comeback from microfracture surgery & MIP season SLAM article seems like forever ago now too, but it’ll actually still be a while until that one comes up in the awesome cover archives being put up here.

  • http://slamonline Dark Knight

    Okay, so Knicks traded Q Rich to the Griz for Darko (wtf?)

    Then they traded Q Rich to the other LA team for Z Bo?

    Z Bo is a pretty horrible teamate, but to trade him for only Q Rich? wth?

  • http://slamonline Dark Knight

    Okay, so Knicks traded Q Rich to the Griz for Darko (wtf?)

    Then they traded Q Rich to the other LA team for Z Bo?

    Z Bo is a pretty horrible teamate, but to trade him for only Q Rich? wth?

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  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2009/08/iverson-memphis-made-an-offer/ Mar

    you 8’6 if u ate pusse wit fake lips

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