By David Kay
“He has one of the worst contracts in the NBA, is a head-case, and is coming off a serious knee injury. So who in the world would want to mess up their salary cap situation and trade for such a volatile player like Zach Randolph? I bet Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace would.”
That must have been Clippers general manager/head coach Mike Dunleavy’s mindset when he was trying to unload Randolph’s remaining 2-year, $33.3 million contract. On the other hand, that’s giving Dunleavy an awful lot of credit. Maybe Wallace called him and had to convince Dunleavy to pull the trigger on the trade. However it went down, the Clips made a great deal by sending Randolph to Memphis for Quentin Richardson.
Why this makes sense for the Clippers:
It’s quite simple actually. L.A.’s “other” team unloads one of the plethora of post players it has since drafting Blake Griffin, and clears up some more playing time for the top pick. In the process, the Clips rid themselves of a toad on their team and maybe more importantly, save about $7 million this year and another $16-plus for next offseason.
The red-headed stepchild of L.A. basketball will now be at least $16 million under the cap next summer and should be able to make a run at one of the marquee names hitting the market in 2010. For the year ahead, Q-Rich adds some perimeter depth to a team short on talent off the bench.
P.S. Bill Simmons may need to issue a formal apology to Dunleavy after this move.
Why this makes sense for Memphis:
Ummm… I mean… Well, if you think about… It just doesn’t. Why in the world would the Grizzlies, who entered the free agency period some $20 million under the cap, trade the expiring contract of Richardson to take on the massively overpaid Randolph, who has two years remaining on his deal?
If your answer is “because Chris Wallace is their GM,” award yourself a point. This trade might be more idiotic than giving Pau Gasol to the Lakers for a ball rack. Maybe Wallace was ordered to make another ridiculous trade to ensure the franchise wouldn’t be in Memphis past 2011. I could seriously go on in hyperbolic talk for another 13 pages if I had the time.
Yes, the Grizzlies needed an answer at power forward. But why bring in a player with Randolph’s issues instead of pursuing a younger, saner free agent like Paul Millsap, David Lee, or even Glen Davis who would cost less than Randolph and not risk the chemistry of your team? Is Randolph really going to be happy playing for a squad that might win 25 games this year? How long until he sucker punches Hasheem Thabeet or Marc Gasol? Seriously, did any of this go through Wallace’s head before he decided to go through with this trade? In the words of Will Hunting, “F***ing people baffle me.”