Clippers trade Randolph to Grizzlies

Donald Sterling must have read my post from last week, as he finally OK’ed the deal to send Zach Randolph to Memphis.

Zach Randolph was packaged for delivery to Memphis on Wednesday when the teams agreed to a deal that will bring back former Clipper Quentin Richardson, and open a starting spot for rookie Blake Griffin.

In a surprise, the Clippers didn’t do it to dump salary. Owner Donald T. Sterling actually resisted the move when a similar deal with Memphis came up on draft day, saying he wanted to do it only if it was a “basketball decision.”

When his people said it was a basketball decision, the deal was resurrected.

Nevertheless, with Randolph under contract for two more seasons at $33 million, and Richardson on the last year of his deal at $8.7 million, it will impact their bottom line, and, with their payroll now far below the salary cap after this season, can make them a major player in the big 2010 free-agent class.

With the move the Clippers’ projected payroll for the 2010 season is only about $32 million (plus whatever they have to pay Blake Griffin), so the franchise will be able to join the free agent frenzy of 2010.

I honestly don’t know what the Grizzlies are thinking. It’s not like Randolph has shown any signs in the last few years of being a piece to the championship puzzle.

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