In the latest Sports Illustrated, Chris Mannix lists four players (besides Denver's Carmelo Anthony) who could be dealt before the NBA's February 21 trade deadline. One of them would reportedly like to end up with the Detroit Pistons.
Zach Randolph, PF, Memphis His six-year, $84 million contract expires after this season, and a league source says he's not happy that the Grizzlies didn't offer him an extension. Randolph, 29, has put up 20 and 10 in each of the past two seasons and last year shrugged off the loser label by powering Memphis to a 16-win improvement, earning his first All-Star berth. If the Grizzlies, who committed $82 million to Rudy Gay this summer and will have to spend big to retain free agents Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, are looking to deal, multiple sources say Randolph's preferred destination is Detroit, where he would fill the gaping hole in the Pistons' frontcourt.
Randolph, of course, played his college ball (one season of it) at Michigan State. And he's an Indiana native, so it appears that Randolph would like to return to the Midwest.
This season with the Grizzlies, Randolph is averaging 14.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. As Mannix points out, he's been a 20-10 man in each of the past two seasons, which would give the Pistons' frontcourt production it hasn't seen in several seasons.
Piston Powered, however, found a quote from Randolph's agent, Raymond Brothers, that disputes the report.
"There's no truth to that rumor," Brothers said. "All Zach needs is a basketball and a court to play on to be happy. Zach's happy. He loves Memphis. That's nonsense."
This is all part of the game, right? If Randolph makes it known that he wants to be traded, Memphis has less leverage when dealing with potential trade partners. Plus, the Grizzlies could potentially pay Randolph more in a new contract than he would see on the open market. (Perhaps the team that trades for him would have to offer a contract extension.)
But if Joe Dumars has a chance at getting a player like Randolph, doesn't he have to do all he can to make a deal happen?
(via Detroit Bad Boys)