A Look Ahead: Will Zach Randolph Opt-Out in 2014?

By Ryan Heckman


Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With so much focus being on this summer’s free agency period, there are still plenty of teams not making moves in hopes that they can stock up enough cap space in 2014 to sign a max free agent. A guy like Zach Randolph could be in high demand next summer, but with a player option on his contract he could choose to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies another year.

Will he stay?

Well, let’s look at the facts. In 2014-2015 Randolph will make $16.5 million in the final year of his deal. That’s quite a bit of money for a guy who will be 33 next year. Will there be a team with that big a need at the position to pay him in that ballpark?

The other side of the argument is that Randolph may just want to finally win a ring if his Grizzlies do not accomplish that in the upcoming season. Like many players are doing lately, he could take less money to go to another contender and try his luck elsewhere.

Randolph has been in the NBA 12 years now, and with not much time remaining in the better part of his career, the possibility of winning a ring should entice him to test the waters next summer. I would bet that with all the hype surrounding next summer, the big man will want to see what else is out there.

With career averages of 17 points and over nine rebounds per game, there should be plenty of teams willing to grab him assuming he could take less money for the chance to win a title.

Guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Paul George could be the first off the market in 2014, but Randolph should find himself soon behind and on his way out of Memphis.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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