Zach Randolph would be a great fit in Los Angeles, and Memphis would do well to assemble a Gasol wall. If the New York Post's Peter Vecsey is accurate, Memphis is apparently interested in swapping Z-Bo for Pau Gasol.
Memphis, by the way, says a source, is offering Zach Randolph, another solid citizen, for Pau. Rudy Gay, as of now, is not available— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) June 28, 2012
The Lakers seem desperate to move Pau and acquiring Randolph would bring them a power forward who can score and will never have his toughness questioned.
The latter has been an issue for Gasol ever since he arrived in Los Angeles. Despite the fact that Gasol helped lead the Lakers to two NBA Championships, he has never completely escaped that stigma.
If the Grizzlies can re-sign Marreese Speights, Randolph could be viewed as expendable.
Who would get the edge in this deal?
The salaries almost match up perfectly, but Randolph has a player-option for the 2014-2015 season. Gasol is simply off the books at that time. Randolph's salary tops out at 17.8 million, but Gasol's gallons up to $19.2 million in the final year.
Gasol would benefit from the smaller market and playing with his brother Marc. It's not just because of the bloodline connection, their games actually complement each other. Marc is a banger while Pau is more of a finesse player.
Z-Bo can be effective playing with his back to the basket or as a mid-range shooter, but his biggest contribution would be his toughness. The Lakers need veteran toughness on their front line and Randolph could supply that.
This would be an odd trade, being that it would essentially be a swap of styles as opposed to an example of teams acquiring players at a different position.
That said, it would work for both teams and players. Gasol is especially set up to do well away from Los Angeles and Randolph didn't regain his starting spot until the final game of the regular season after returning from a knee injury. He would definitely get the minutes in Los Angeles.
We'll see if this one has any legs.
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