Talks have stalled between the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies over a potential deal that will send Zach Randolph to the Grizzlies for Darko Milicic and Marko Jaric, because it is believed that Memphis is seeking a first-round pick as part of the deal. But how can Memphis justify that request? Are they hammered?
While Randolph isn’t known for his defensive prowess, he is an extremely effective scorer and rebounder with toughness in the post. He is a proven 20-10 guy in the Western Conference and will immediately team with O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay to form a dynamic inside-outside game that Hakim Warrick obviously is never going to deliver.
Plus, who are they giving up? Two Serbian guys who probably have no friends on the team and who don’t figure into the Memphis plans of the future? I mean, what’s the point of paying Jaric $7M per
year over the next three years when they already have about 12 point guards?
From the Knicks standpoint, they must trade Randolph because he and Eddy Curry cannot co-exist, and Randolph has much more trade value. Curry was a beast before Randolph came to town, but has since
regressed because the world was no longer revolving around him with Z-Bo in town. Donnie Walsh is just trying to get something credible back in return for his talented power forward. The benefit of this deal from Walsh’s perspective is a twofold “addition by subtraction” for New York, as they get Curry to feel important again and essentially swap Randolph for Jaric in 2010-11, which saves the Knicks $10M for the Summer of LeBron.
Basically, the Knicks do the Grizz a favor by taking Jaric off the books for 3 years all while giving them a dominant offensive power forward that they yearn for, and Memphis has the guts to ask for a first rounder. What Donnie Walsh should say is, “Yea, we’ll give you a first rounder if you take back Jared Jeffries and/or Jerome James.” That would help reduce their already swollen roster (currently at 16 players), and erase contracts from the Isiah Era that Knick fans can’t stomach. Don’t forget the salaries don’t have to match in this case, because Memphis is currently sitting on ample cap space – so adding one of the infamous JJ’s to the deal would work under the CBA.
So, either Memphis needs to realize they are getting a win-win deal with Zach for the (D/M) Arko’s – or they get a conditional first rounder and take back one of the dreaded JJ’s. There is no in-between.