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Shopping Zach

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By now you've all heard John Canzano's news that the Blazers are not actively shopping Zach Randolph. Not being one to take such things lying down, I decided if they're not going to shop him, by gum I am more than willing. Over the weekend I contacted the best hoops blogs in five NBA cities, all potential destinations for our sweet-shooting, street speeding, simulated-sex-soliciting scoring sensation. The concept was simple:  Here's a trade that works under cap rules.  What are your thoughts and what would your team's reaction be?  

Here are the responses:

The Golden State Warriors
Proposed Trade: Zach Randolph for Troy Murphy and either Andris Biedrins or Zarko Cabarkapa.
Response from Atma Brother One at Golden State of Mind

As Blazers fans know Zach Randolph is a legit 20-10 guy which illustrates his enormous talent and potential. 20-10's are hard to come by, but the problem is Randolph is what we like to call in the fantasy world a "two-category" guy. He seems like a black hole with more turnovers than assists and very little effect on the defensive end. For 5 more years at 70 million that's not the best return on investment.  But hey- the Warriors should be the last ones talking about bad contracts. (See 44 Reasons why giving Mike Dunleavy 44 million wasn't the brightest idea for a laugh. It's at the site.)

Would the Warriors consider Randolph for Troy Murphy and either Andris Biedrins or Zarko Cabarkapa? Before Nellie came back Zarko could probably be had for a bag of cabakarpa, but the Z-man might have a nice little role now. Still, he's easy to part with. The problem is Mullin is in love with his young guns and thinks really highly of them. The Warriors probably see Ike Diogu approaching Randolph's numbers, but on a rookie pay scale. So money-wise and talent-wise it's probably a no-go.

The Philadelphia 76'ers
Proposed Trade: Zach Randolph, Travis Outlaw, and Dan Dickau for Chris Webber
Response from Jon at Passion and Pride

I can't imagine Webber fits into your plans.  Sure, the Sixers would like to dump his contract (the worst in the NBA) but the only offers are QRichardson and Mo Taylor (not exactly intriguing).  They've resigned themselves to the fact that they're probably locked into CWebb for 2 more years.  So, any team that takes him on would be investing big money into 2 years instead of one.  My guess is that NEXT summer would be the time Webber gets traded when there's only 1 year left on his deal.

Randolph doesn't look too intriguing to teams since he's coming off injury. Think Shareef Abdur-Rahim last year.  The Nets were interested at first but then didn't want any parts.  Try dumping Randolph on them and seeing if they'll give you Jason Kidd.  That would be a better deal for you and the Nets still need a PF.  At this point, the Sixers are not interested in a young Derrick Coleman.  Outlaw would be nice though.

The Boston Celtics
Proposed Trade: Zach Randolph for Wally Szczerbiak
Response from Jeff at Celticsblog

Well, my first reaction is to pass, but that's just me - I'm sure some Celtics fans would do that deal.  My thinking is this: we have a potential star in Al Jefferson and trading for his replacement ends that progression.  He should be healthy this year so I'd like to see what he is made of before giving up on him. Besides, Jefferson's value is low because of his ankle issues, so there isn't much sense dealing him (which would likely be the next step after getting Randolph).

In addition, I have a thing against guys I think are knuckleheads.  While I don't think Zach means any harm, he just seems like a doofus, and I don't want that much money invested.  But I'm sure you've heard that perspective beaten to death in Portland-land

On the other hand, if you need a trade partner for a 3 way deal, we're ready to move Wally or Theo.

The Chicago Bulls
Proposed Trade: Zach Randolph for P.J. Brown and ONE of the following (roughly in this order): Andres Nocioni, Chris Duhon, or Mike Sweetney
Response from Matt at Blog-A-Bull

It's an interesting proposal, but I think the years/amount left on his contract is an even bigger avoidance for the Bulls than his general 'attitude' problem.  Zach has a near-max salary slot, and unlike a lot of teams the Bulls have no 'bad' contracts they would like to get rid of. (Wallace may be one of those eventually, but obviously he isn't going anywhere.)

I think when they dealt Chandler and only asked for an expiring contract (PJ Brown) in return John Paxson was setting himself up to make a big deal at midseason.  And I think at the stage they're at, the Bulls will only make a big move if it means the player that they'd get will vault the team into title contention. There's a very short list of players available who fit that criteria, but that's why I think they are holding their cards until the trade deadline and then hoping someone like Garnett or Ray Allen becomes available.

I think that Randolph would be a decent fit, but the lack of work ethic or willingness to play  defense would not serve him when dealing with the Bulls and Scott Skiles. And he's a good player, but not the type to put a team like the Bulls over the top.

The New York Knicks
Proposed Trades:
#1 Zach and Juan Dixon for Jalen Rose
#2 Zach and Darius Miles for Jalen Rose
#3 Zach and Darius Miles for Jalen Rose and Channing Frye
Response from Knickerblogger at Knickerblogger.net

What I would do and what the Knicks would do are two entirely different things. Isiah Thomas is a man with his neck on the line, so he might trade Jalen Rose for Zach Randolph or Darius Miles if it'll give him a better opportunity to win this year without a second thought on the long term cap implications. It's hard to predict what he'll do, because under him the Knicks have gone in a myriad of directions all at once. There was a rumor about a Q-Rich for Miles swap earlier in the year, so I don't see why he wouldn't trade Jalen's expiring contract to do so. As for Zach, the question rests on Frye. Can Frye stay at PF, or will he have to shift over to C more with Curry & James being the only options at the 5? If Frye is playing major minutes at the 4, then Zach Randolph is not needed. But if Curry and James are in foul trouble and Frye is forced to man the center, then Randolph becomes an intriguing option for Isiah.

So to answer your question, Isiah would likely do #1 & #2, but I seriously doubt he would trade Frye at this time.
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The results of our little experiment?  Basically a "thanks but no thanks" from four, and the fifth only allowed the possibility because his GM makes worse decisions than a half-baked teenager with an all-night pass and a glo-stick. It's the Trident dentist survey in reverse. (Cue announcer voice: "Four out of five bloggers recommend staying clear of Zach Randolph and his contract.") And I'm sure in the eyes of many I was far too modest in what I asked in return too.

Atma Brother One did offer this consolation prize however:

A trade I would like to see is Darius Miles for Mike Dunleavy with filler parts to make it work numbers-wise. Both players have run out their welcome at their respected towns. Nellie could do some big things with Darius at a point-forward role and Dunleavy just needs a change of scenery. Miles could run with Boom Dizzle, JRich, and Monta. It seems like the Blazers are trying super-hard to get rid of DMiles ASAP, but haven't been able to pull it off. Likewise, it's no secret that the Warriors have been trying to move Dunleavy.

*cough*  Er...thanks, Atma my brother. Presumably we shouldn't read that "44 Reasons" thing before pulling the trigger?

Hey folks, the best way to thank all the bloggers who helped with this little project is to click on their blogs and check them out.  There's some fine stuff out there and you'd find the Blazers aren't alone in trying to cope with various miseries (or in scavenging reasons for pre-season optimism).

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

Update [2006-9-5 17:43:31 by Dave]: Here are the links to the Golden State Report Cards and the 44 Reasons Mike Dunleavy Post that Atma included in his commentary but weren't working earlier.