Comparative Study: Zach Randolph

Since Zach is such a blazing hot topic lately and since we didn't talk about him enough in the context of team MVP (just ceding it to him by default) here's a question that's been on my mind lately:

Where does Zach rank vis-a-vis other stars/talents in the league?  

It's obvious Zach is not at a LeBron James/Dwyane Wade level.  As I'm typing this the results of our current poll show 42% of you think it would be crazy to trade him, which is the biggest single group.  However that means 58% of you would either like to see him shipped or are at least willing to consider the possibility.  If we asked that question about LeBron to Cleveland fans or Dwyane to Miami fans, the latter groups would be...ohhhh...right around ZERO. (OK, there might be one myopic old lady who clicked the wrong button by mistake.)  Sure you could say one or two people have an agenda behind their vote, but not 58%.  And Portland fans aren't stupid (at least not en masse).  Besides, if Steve Patterson rang up Cleveland and offered Zach for LeBron Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry would immediately suspect he was on Crank Yankers.  I don't think you can argue Zach is one of those untouchable A+++ talents.

That said, it's patently obvious that he's not Moochie Norris either.  The guy affects games.  The guy WINS games singlehandedly.  And his stats for the first quarter of this season put him among the league's highest echelon.

So he's somewhere north of Moochie, but south of Lebron and Dwyane.  That's still a lot of turf to cover.  Help us out here.  Complete the following sentence:  I think Zach is right around the talent/star level of ____ because _____.  

PLEASE NOTE that I am not asking for a comparison of SKILLS here.  We know Zach is a good offensive player with rebounding ability.  We don't need thirty people comparing him to Carlos Boozer just to understand that.  The player you compare him to might not have those same skills.  He may be a point guard, a distance shooter, whatever...it doesn't matter.  I just want to know what player(s) you think Z-Bo would rank near if you compiled a list of NBA stars from the best to the worst.  (If that is still Carlos Boozer, then be my guest...)

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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