There must be more than meets the eye when it comes to the trade reported by the Los Angeles Times in which the Clippers send Zach Randolph to the Memphis Grizzlies for Quentin Richardson. Z-Bo makes $6.6 million more than Q-Rich and has two years left on his contract as opposed to Richardson's one. Memphis is under the cap, so the trade doesn't have to satisfy the 125 percent rule. Still, the Clippers should feel fortunate to have found such a willing taker.
But let's not let that get in the way of our euphoria -- our flat-out ecstasy -- over this trade.
Quentin Richardson was one of the first bad contracts acquired by Isiah Thomas when he took over as president of the Knicks. Zach Randolph was another one. One of the worst. It was a miracle that Isiah was there to take Z-Bo from the Clippers Blazers on draft night a couple of years ago.
Now we have one bad Knicks contract traded for another one. Eureka! Mike Dunleavy and Chris Wallace, the respective GMs, have found the holy grail. Next they will pay down the federal debt, cure cancer, and meet in the Western Conference Finals.
We should all enjoy this moment, but we should be a little bit afraid. Trading one Isiah production for another is sort of like Desmond forgetting to push the button on Lost. This trade could unleash a tidal wave of forces way beyond our comprehension and control.
What's next? Eddy Curry for Jerome James?
But I digress. The real, honest-to-God basketball significance of this trade is two-fold. One, for some reason, the Grizzlies have decided to do the Clippers a favor by taking back Randolph, with two years left on his contract, in exchange for Richardson, who has only one year left. So as I mentioned, there has to be something else going on here. And two, the Grizzlies are officially out of the David Lee sweepstakes. With Randolph at power forward, the Grizzlies have no use for the Knicks' restricted free agent.
So to recap: A trade involving one obscene contract previously acquired by Isiah Thomas for another obscene contract previously acquired by Isiah Thomas results in a trade that ... helps the Knicks?
Be afraid. Be very afraid. And throw some salt over your shoulder while you're at it.