Rudy Gay's future in Memphis is up for debate. Zach Randolph's is not. You know, unless you buy into the notion of the insane.
Source says that the Memphis Grizzlies may keep Rudy Gay, and instead trade Zach Randolph to the Houston Rockets. Houston loves Randolph.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 20, 2013
So is anyone who has trouble wrapping their heads around the absurd.
Of all the teams who would be interested in Randolph, the Rockets simply aren't one of them.
But don't just take my word it. All I ask is you don't buy into Kennedy's "report." Oh, and I also ask that you take Ultimate Rockets writer Jonathan Feigen's report that Houston isn't interested in Randolph for what it is—the truth.
I won't go as far as to say Kennedy's sources don't exist, but I doubt its validity to the point where I hate to even acknowledge it. Alas, we must recognize it. But that doesn't mean we need to accept it.
Yes, the Rockets are looking for a power forward to add to their arsenal, but no, there's no way their sights on set on Randolph or any other near-immobile big.
Randolph can rebound and he can put points on the board to no end, yet he doesn't fit Houston's blueprint at all. Not only are the Rockets in the top of half rebounds per game, but they don't theoretically need any extra offense.
Houston is scoring 104.5 points per game, second most in the league, rendering Randolph's production far from a necessity. In fact, his offense wouldn't even carry over to Houston. Not to that extreme.
Remember, the Rockets are second in the league in fast-break points scored per game, while the Grizzlies are 13th with 13.4. Houston is also first in the league with an average of 96.5 possessions per 48 minutes; Memphis is 28th with 88.9.
The Rockets run, but the Grizzlies, and thus Randolph, don't. Why would Houston, led by the fast-paced stylings of James Harden and Jeremy Lin, want to add a half-court weapon like Randolph to its full-court attack?
Duh, for defense. The Rockets are dead last in points allowed per game with 103.5. Randolph would improve their defense a great deal.
Except he wouldn't.
Not only are the Grizzlies actually allowing fewer points per 100 possessions with Randolph off the floor, but per 82games.com, opposing bigs are posting an average PER of 16.5 per 48 minutes against him. For those that are wondering, Patrick Patterson, Houston's current starting power forward, holds opposing 4s and 5s to a PER of 15.8 per 48 minutes.
So yeah, it's time to put this rumor to bed. As well as any other Randolph-related rumors.
At 31, Randolph is owed $34.3 million over the next two years and has a player option in 2014-2015 for $16.5 million. That means any interested teams would have to be willing to commit up to $40.8 million to aging big man.
The 26-year-old Rudy Gay doesn't seem so bad now, does he?
I'm not saying Randolph isn't a talented tower. He's one of only 13 players averaging a double-double and is third in the league in rebounds per game (11.8).
But he's also a conditioning hazard and no stranger to injury. Why would the Rockets be interested in that? Why would any young team be interested in that?
They wouldn't. And they're not.
Not when Randolph isn't what you would consider versatile. Not when he's so important to the Grizzlies' conventional half-court attack. Not when they're not even actually shopping them.
On Rudy: Grizz would move but deals not good so far.On ZBo - teams have asked about him. That's it. Not shopping him.— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) January 9, 2013
And certainly not when he doesn't fit the bill for the very stretch forwards that have become a fixture on nearly every NBA team.
Plenty of players are going to grease hands by the league's trade deadline. Deals will be struck, triggers will be pulled and players will move.
But while you attempt to sift through what is nothing short of a despotic rumor mill, remember that plenty of players will be headed nowhere, that plenty of speculation is merely unfounded conjecture.
And that Zach Randolph isn't going anywhere.
Especially when that "anywhere" is the Rockets.
*All stats in this article are accurate as of January 20, 2013.