NBA Trade Deadline: Zach Randolph Is Likely to Stay with the Memphis Grizzlies

Andy HuSenior Writer IIFebruary 20, 2013

Feb 12, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA;  Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph (50) shoots a free throw during the game against the Sacramento Kings at the FedEx Forum.  Memphis won 108-101.  Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies already shipped away (via ESPN) one of their best players last month, and it looked like they were about to blow up their roster sooner than later.

However, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld and USA Today Sports recently reported that Zach Randolph, who has also seen his fair share of trade speculation (via Memphis Commericial Appeal), will most likely remain with the Grizzlies.

Don’t count on the Memphis Grizzlies trading Zach Randolph. Sources close to the process labeled Zach as all but untouchable at the deadline and that baring some kind of hail-Mary, last minute; knock your socks offer, Zach is staying in Memphis for the foreseeable future.

This is a sigh of relief for Grizzlies fans, because it still means that the organization is trying to make a big playoff push without breaking up their whole team identity. 

It should be that way, since there's no logical reason to completely break up an elite Western Conference team that could contend for a championship. If they traded away Randolph, it would be like blowing up the roster without even giving it a chance to compete.

However, Randolph staying would mean that the recently acquired Ed Davis would still remain the second-string power forward until Randolph's contract expires or the Grizzlies look to deal him again.

Randolph will turn 32 years old by the end of the season, and he won't improve into a better player than he already is. In fact, he probably reached his ceiling two seasons ago when he single-handedly knocked off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs.

Even when Randolph is playing out of his mind, he hasn't proved he could lead a team to the promised land. While Randolph remains with the Grizzlies and sucking up their cap space, the young, athletic Davis with limitless potential continues to wither away on the bench.

Right now, keeping Randolph would certainly benefit the team short-term.

But if the Grizzlies feel like they can't contend anymore with him, they should look towards the future and rebuild, instead of taking heavy hits to their wallets.