Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies have been unable to agree on terms for a contract extension, and the power forward might become a free agent in July, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Memphis Grizzlies and forward Zach Randolph have reached an impasse in contract extension talks and the two-time All-Star forward is thinking seriously about triggering his early termination option and becoming a free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Randolph's agent, Raymond Brothers, has been in steady talks with general manager Chris Wallace and Grizzlies ownership for several weeks, but the sides have dug in recently and have been unable to find common ground – specifically on the length and money of the deal, sources said.
Randolph, 32, has until June 30 to trigger a $16.5 million player option on the final season of his contract. If he opts out, he can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Randolph reportedly spoke directly to Memphis owner Robert Pera at the beginning of this process, and it initially looked like the Grizzlies wanted to extend him. They're in a tricky position, though, and this is an important moment for the franchise. At 32 years old, it's tough to commit major money to Randolph on a long-term deal. He is still effective, but has already started declining. It might not be in Memphis' best interest to surrender future financial flexibility. Losing him would all but guarantee the team takes a step back next season, though.
It behooves Randolph to sign another deal now, whether it's an extension or through free agency, rather than waiting until he's a year older, so it makes sense that he'd consider exercising his early-termination option. There will be plenty of teams with the cap space to sign him this summer if he can't work things out with the Grizzlies.