NBA Trade Rumors: Could Zach Randolph Be Traded?

Andy HuSenior Writer IIFebruary 7, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 06:  Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies pats Zach Randolph #50 on the side during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 6, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies have been the biggest competitor near the trade deadline, already orchestrating two trades (via ESPN) that have shaken up their roster.

With their previous leading scorer in Rudy Gay gone, are the Grizzlies looking to ship out their current leading scorer and rebounder, Zach Randolph?

Steve Kyler of USA Today Sports has suggested that the Grizzlies might not be done with their trades yet.

Sources close to the situation caution not to read too much into the frustrations of a two-game losing streak, but when you factor in how leaky the Memphis process has been the whole way around, completely dismissing Randolph as a coveted trade asset would be naive. However, the Grizzlies continue to deny that Randolph is anyone they are willing to move, but it’s clear they are still active in the marketplace and the right incoming offer can always change a team’s thinking, especially if the skid continues.

It's quite funny how the Grizzlies, who were an elite team in the Western Conference when the season started, are pretty much breaking apart their whole roster. 

How did this team go from a legit championship contender to one that's about to have a total collapse of their roster?

When Chad Ford of ESPN was asked if the Grizzlies were done making trades, he responded that he "seriously doubts it" and that Randolph "looks like a marked man."


For a small-market team, the Grizzlies clearly struggled trying to stay under the luxury tax toward the beginning of the season.

However, they shed about $6 million off of their payroll after their first trade and removed Marreese Speights' and Wayne Ellingtons' contracts off of the shelf.

They did not even have to pull the trigger on the trade for Rudy Gay. He may not be having his best season so far, but they can't just get rid of their leading scorer for a few role players and expect to be a better team. Sure, they got some young prospects in return, but this Grizzlies team was built to win right now. 

Randolph will be 32 years old before the start of next season, and who knows how much he has left in the tank? At his pace, he could probably play at a high level for a couple more years, but he might not even be on the team for that long.

It's upsetting to see such a great small-market team being broken up because of money issues, but that's just how the cookie crumbles. But is getting rid of, not just one, but two of their best players even reasonable? Especially since this team had a legitimate shot at competing for a title.