|ZBo's not going anywhere, reportedly. (Getty Images)|
The Grizzlies upset some fans, and a lot more media, by trading Rudy Gay. The move was seen as blowing up the core of a contender, or a least a sub-contender, despite Gay's offensive misery this season and the complaints of many that they don't feed the post enough. But an even bigger cause for alarm were the reports that, after trading Gay, the Grizzlies could still be looking to shed more salary by trading franchise cornerstone, two-time All-Star and most popular player Zach Randolph.
Well, put the trade machines down, folks. The team has made it clear through the Memphis Commercial-Appeal that Randolph's not going anywhere. Probably.
Griz continue to field trade calls for Zach Randolph but have informed teams that they aren't interested in moving the All Star forward— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBlog) February 8, 2013
So they're not trading Randolph, but they're still taking calls on him. OK. That makes sense. And by sense, I mean "sounds right for the NBA's screwed-up trade behavior."
Trading Randolph honestly makes very little sense at this point. Yes, his contract escalates to nearly $18 million next season and his value is at its highest this year. But he has an Early Termination Option for the year after. And given how he has played, there's a good chance he'll enter free agency, giving Memphis a "Get Out Of Cap Jail Free" card.
Meanwhile, moving him would kill a locker room already in disarray after the Gay trade and destroy fan support for new ownership in a city that has only recently started to buy into the team.
Better to keep Randolph and tweak around him, planning for when his contract naturally expires, than rushing to cut the cord.