Zach Randolph to Come Off Bench for Grizzlies in 2016-17 Season

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2016

Apr 22, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) during the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

After coming off the bench 15 times in 68 games last season, Zach Randolph will be making a permanent move to that role with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016-17.

According to Alexis Morgan of the team's official site, Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale announced Wednesday that JaMychal Green will start, and Randolph will serve as his backup. 

"I’m fine with it," Randolph said, per Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal. You know how I am. Whatever is best for the team. Being a man, telling me the why and why not. That’s all you can ask for."

Randolph also spoke to Grizzlies center Marc Gasol about the move to say he would "anchor the bench for us, don't worry about it, I've got that part," per Fizdale (via Morgan). 

This won't be the first time Randolph has come off the bench in his career. He only started 11 games in his first two NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before moving into a full-time starting role before the 2003-04 season.

The Grizzlies also used Randolph off the bench 20 times during the 2011-12 season, though he only played 28 total games that year because of a knee injury. 

Randolph's numbers have slowly been dropping as the Grizzlies cut his minutes. He averaged 15.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season, which was the first time he's failed to average a double-double in a season in which he's played at least 50 games since 2005-06. 

Green showed great promise primarily off the Grizzlies bench last season with an average of 14.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per 36 minutes, per Basketball-Reference.com. He's also nine years younger than Randolph and more athletic at this point. 

At 35 years old, Randolph will need his minutes more carefully monitored so he can be healthy and producing at a high level for a potential postseason appearance next April.