After being a problem child for much of his NBA career, Zach Randolph has settled down and found a home with the Memphis Grizzlies. Apparently, the Grizzlies are very appreciative of the work Randolph has done, as they are currently working out the final details of a four-year contract extension. While it is not final yet, it looks like the extension is all but done.
Frankly, this is the right move for the Grizzlies. Having already locked up Rudy Gay and Mike Conley to extensions, Memphis is clearly working on holding together its current nucleus. And Randolph is definitely a big part of that group. He is currently making $17.3 million in the final year of a six-year, $84 million contract he signed with Portland in 2004.
The 29-year-old power forward is having arguably the best season of his 10-year career. In 72 games this year (71 starts) he has averaged 20.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 36.4 minutes played. He is also shooting 50.3 percent from the field. Randolph is also a big part of the reason the Grizzlies are currently holding on to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
Though he was not selected this year, in 2010 Randolph made his first All-Star team. It appeared he had turned his entire life around, but then reports circulated in late May of last year that Randolph had been named as “a major marijuana supplier in Indianapolis” in in a probable cause affidavit.
I don’t know how that case will turn out, but the Grizzlies must be pretty confident Z-Bo will remain out of jail if they’re willing to lock him up for four more year.
One thing is for sure, getting into bed with Zach Randolph (we mean this figuratively) is never a completely safe proposition. We all remember the famous quote from his high school coach Moe Smedley: “I just don’t want the day to come where I pick up that paper and it says (Zach) shot someone, or that he was shot. Every day that goes by that I don’t see that, I feel good.”
Obviously coach Smedley didn’t have very high hopes for his most famous former pupil.