Zach Randolph's Absence an Improvement for Knicks?

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IMarch 1, 2010

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 6:   Zach Randolph #50 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots over Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers on November 6, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 114-98.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

“If they get LeBron James (it was worth it),” Randolph says. “If they don’t get him, I wonder. I don’t know.”—Zach Randolph

The Knicks traded Randolph in November 2008 to the Clippers for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley. The Knicks were not looking for any premium players back, just for another team to take his long and expensive contract. Donnie Walsh has worked very hard to get the Knicks under the cap but he could have waited and dealt Zebo or even Jamal Crawford this year for more talent or draft picks.

Randolph is blossoming for his new team (Memphis Grizzlies), averaging 20.6 points, 11.9 rebounds (second highest of his career) and is shooting 49.5 percent from the field (also the second highest of his career). His shooting percentage has gone up because his three-point attempts have gone down. He has attempted only 30 threes this season (59 games) compared to the 104 in 80 career games with the Knicks.

More importantly, he leads the NBA in offensive rebounds per game (4.4) and the 28 year old was named to his first All-Star game this season. His team is 30-29 and 3.5 games from the eighth seed.

Zebo lit up the Knicks over the weekend scoring 31 points with 25 rebounds (10 offensive). He has become a less selfish player, and one can even say has been a good influence on center Marc Gasol.

And while he has had troubles in the past and his reputation has been challenged, this season has been a rebirth. The Knicks will really miss his size and toughness in the paint.


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