Randolph wants Gasol-type money

And we’re not talking Marc Gasol. When FanHouse asked Zach Randoph about an extension, this is what he had to say…

“Me and Pau Gasol got signed to the same deal when he was in Memphis and I was in Portland,” said Randolph, whose contract actually is slightly less, with Randolph making $16 million this season and $17.33 million next season and the Lakers star earning $16.45 million and $17.82 million in those seasons. “We got the same contract, and it got extended. … I hope (to get the extension done this summer). I’d definitely like to get it done.”

So is Randolph worth $57 million over three years?

Not in my book.

While Randolph’s numbers this season — 21-12, 49% shooting — compare favorably to Gasol’s (18-11, 53%), the former plays on a mediocre team that was eliminated from the playoff race a while ago. The latter plays on the world champion Lakers and takes 3.5 fewer shots per game. Gasol is a seven-footer who can play both power forward and center, while Randolph is too small to play center full time. True centers are a rare breed and teams have to pay a premium. Power forwards are a lot easier to find.

Want to go deeper? Randolph’s net impact on the Grizzlies eFG% and eFG% allowed is -0.8%, while Gasol’s is -0.3%. Gasol’s PER (22.71) is better than Randolph’s (21.25).

And then there’s the dependability factor. Randolph is on his fourth team and was traded away three times because he wasn’t wanted. Gasol was traded because the Grizzlies weren’t going anywhere and wanted to cut salary. While it seems like Randolph has matured in his stint with Memphis, his reputation still lingers.

This kind of extension talk is a perfect example. If Randolph really wanted to get an deal done, he’d do it quietly. Instead, on the heels of yet another playoff whiff, he’s giving interviews telling people how he’s worth as much as Pau Gasol, which forces the Grizzlies’ owner, Michael Heisley, to field questions about it.

In short, just because a guy is (probably) the best player that a franchise has, it does not make him a “franchise” player.

Given all the factors, if I were in Heisley’s shoes, I’d pay him $12 million per season, max. And I’d wait until the very last minute to do so. It’s not like his stock is going to get any higher, and besides, players always perform better when they’re hungry.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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