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Randolph could be what's holding back the Grizzlies.
Notable Upcoming Free Agents
Zach Randolph (2014; Player option)
Marc Gasol (2015)
Mike Conley (2016)
The Grizzlies recorded the best season in franchise history last year, posting a record of 56-26. It all culminated in the team’s first-ever trip to the Western Conference Finals.
But don’t expect that success to repeat itself in 2013-14.
Sure, Memphis finished last season as the best defense in the league, limiting opponents to just 89.3 points per game. However, the team’s offense was just as ineffective, averaging only 93.4 points a night—27th in the NBA.
Defense may win championships, but it takes an offense to get you there in the first place.
Then there’s the matter of Zach Randolph.
He’s 32 and set to make $18.2 million this year. The only problem is, Randolph doesn’t deserve it.
After averaging 17 or more points from 2003-11, the 12-year veteran’s production has dipped off. The 15.4 points per game he averaged last season was his second-lowest output since 2002-03.
The other occurrence? 2011-12, when Randolph averaged 11.6 points per night in an injury-shortened campaign.
He has a player option of $16.9 million for next season. It’s a contract the Grizzlies hope Randolph opts out of. The team could seriously use that money to bring in some more perimeter shooters.
Without them, Memphis will have to settle for simply being that team that always comes up just short of the ultimate prize.