Nobody would think the 26-13 Memphis Grizzlies would be willing to trade their team, especially while being fourth in a tough Western Conference. The rumors are swirling that small forward Rudy Gay was on the trading block and now rumors are strong that it's power forward Zach Randolph who's on the trading black instead.
According to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy, the Houston Rockets are taking a serious look at acquiring Randolph from the Grizzlies.
The move wouldn't just affect both teams involved, but the top Western Conference teams. The Rockets are in the eighth spot while the Grizzlies are fourth and this move could potentially switch those two teams.
The Rockets have two young superstars in Jeremy Lin and James Harden carrying them to second in the league in scoring (104.5ppg). The problem with the Rockets is they're playing a fast game every game, too fast for them to keep up with opponents. Sometimes they get hot and shoot well, other times they tend to just throw up shots and don't have a rebounding presence nor one for defending.
They rank 30th in points allowed (103.5), so if you compare their points forced along with their points allowed per game, it's not too surprising why they're only at 21-21 record wise.
If the Rockets can convince the Grizzlies to give them Randolph, it might be a blow to some teams in the conference. The San Antonio Spurs have finally found a lineup to counter the Grizzlies' tough frontcourt of Randolph and Marc Gasol, but they'll probably have a harder time guarding the Rockets with Randolph wearing a Rockets jersey. Houston will have three point shooters around him in the paint and he's a player who'll fight for position every possession unlike the bigs they have currently. It's not only the offensive end, but also defense and rebounding. Randolph is averaging 11.8rpg and he'd automatically be the best rebounder just edging out Omer Asik.
With Randolph on the team, the Spurs would drastically have to change their defense against Houston. The Rockets would have the players to go small and still maintain some defense with Carlos Delfino possibly switching to the power forward position. He's also very good at slowing the game down, something the Spurs don't want to do against teams. The Spurs are a team that wants to run since their older core can't handle carrying the team without motion or in a one-on-one situation. They'd be facing a Houston team that would be somewhat identical to an older version of the Spurs. When the team was called "boring" through their championship years, they could still run against smaller or scoring teams. It wasn't their first choice, but they could adapt and the Rockets would be in a similar position.
If a deal goes through, it would be hard to think that Houston couldn't easily grab the fourth seed with the Grizzlies giving up a big part of their team and the rest hobbling or struggling. They would be just under the San Antonio Spurs and could easily give the number one seed a run for their money. The Spurs might have a greater chance against them early, but we saw how the Spurs couldn't seem to get over the hump late in the Conference Finals last year. For Spurs fans, this might be a trade they hope doesn't go through.
Jose was looking at this from a diffrent angle then I was. I was looking at it from the angle of how it will effect the grizzlies more then the rockets. Im thinking right now the grizz are and have been a bigger threat to us and unless thier getting Josh in returen this is going to take the grizz out of the running this year at least. Yes its true that zack will help and make the rockets harder to defend, but as someone posted something that will also factor is how the rockets would give up some shooters in return.
Wait why would these rumors be even mildly true? What do the Rockets have that the Grizz would be even mildly interested in?
agreed with Emicris, almost exactly what i was going to say. Jose, what is Houston going to give up for Randolph? it's not like the Rockets are going to keep the same team if you're going to trade for a guy like Randolph. a couple of those 3-point shooters (Parsons and Delfino for example) are probably going to be packaged, or they might package Asik with someone, or whatever package that equals Randolph's contract. if a deal happens, yes, Randolph will make them better and guarantee them a playoff spot for sure, but i would still worry more about the Grizzlies than the Rockets. however, the Grizzlies will be weaker if it goes down, which i think this trade will help us, and i would still like our crew over the Rockets even if they have Randolph.
The Rockets are gonna have to give up somebody though (which might include a 3-point shooter or two). Don't assume the Rockets will be virtually be the same team if they get Randolph. Sure, they'll be a little bit tougher, but I'd still like the Spurs' chances against them. And honestly, I kinda hope it does go through because it means the Lakers and Mavs are gonna have a tougher time getting in the playoffs this season. :)
@be_Spurs Exactly what I was thinking; article totally ignores what the Rockets may have to give up. Perhaps the Grizz want a 1st round pick. They still need a big guy in return , so Asik + 1st round pick perhaps? I don't think that's enough for the Grizz to part with Randolph. I agree, a shooter likely has to be involved.