Mar 21, 2011, 9:20 AM EDT
Some of the best teams in he West would like to avoid the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoff because Memphis has one of the biggest, most dangerous front lines in basketball with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Two guys who just happen to be free agents this summer (although Gasol is restricted, at least under the current system).
Now Randolph may be coming off the market — he and the Grizzlies are in “serious” talks about a four-year deal that would keep Randolph in Memphis, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Randolph’s agent, Raymond Brothers, and Griz general manager Chris Wallace confirmed that they have been involved in constructive talks after months of inactivity.
“I think they’re serious,” Brothers said of the Grizzlies’ intent to sign Randolph. “I’m optimistic we’ll get something done.”
Randolph is making a healthy $17.3 million this season in the last year of a six-year deal the Trail Blazers gave him.
Randolph is the Grizzlies leading scorer (20.1 points per game) and rebounder (12.6). He had said before he wanted Paul Gasol money — $65 million over three years — but the new report says that he has backed off that demand. The Grizzlies had been thinking more like $10 million a year, they likely are meeting somewhere in the middle.
Randolph should want to get something done under this collective bargaining agreement because, whatever the new CBA looks like, you can bet it will be more restrictive than this one.
If Randolph gets a big deal, it leaves a question as to whether the smaller-market Grizzlies will be able to keep Gasol as well. It is known that other teams, including the New York Knicks, are interested in him. However, that free agent game will be played out under the yet unknown rules of the new CBA, which makes the situation about as predictable as Charlie Sheen.
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