A potential target for the Detroit Pistons in the offseason is no longer available as Zach Randolph has reportedly inked a four-year, $71 million extension. Randolph was due to become a free agent after this season.
Shortly after leading the Grizzlies to the franchise’s first-ever playoff victory, the 6-foot-9 power forward agreed to the deal, and means the Memphis Grizzlies have committed $190 million in future salary to just three players — Randolph, Rudy Gay, Mike Conley. The team’s starting center, Marc Gasol, is also in line for a big payday as a pending free agent. It is unclear if the team is willing commit the $10 million-plus it will take to retain the big man’s services.
And lest any fans think the team should just switch their desire from Z-Bo and onto Gasol, I don’t think he fits very well with the Pistons — or more accurately, I don’t think he fits well next to Greg Monroe. And for that matter, neither did Randolph.
What the emergence of Monroe has shown is that the Pistons need a complementary player that is 1. Athletic. 2. Strong 3. Shot blocker. While Gasol has a much better offensive game than Monroe, he still isn’t the shot-blocking, strong defender the team really needs. And the issues are just compounded in the case of Randolph. In a season where no plays were called for him, Monroe showed a nose for the ball and the touch and smarts to clean up the glass and put the ball in the hoop. I don’t think the focus any longer should be on a back-to-the-basket offensive whiz, but someone who could drag this team’s defense back into the realm of respectability.