Grizzlies owner Robert Pera is putting his stamp on the Grizzlies. Again. Gone are the stats-driven front office, but their coach Dave Joerger is staying. There are more changes coming as the search for a GM starts up.
Another priority of Pera’s — keeping Zach Randolph. And he is taking steps to make that happen.
The power forward that is one of the anchors of the Grizzlies offense can opt out this summer but has said he wanted to stay in Memphis and the two sides are talking contract extension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Randolph, 32, has until June 30 to trigger a $16.5 million player option on the final season of his contract and already had begun preliminary discussions on a long-term extension with Memphis, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Randolph has talked directly with Pera in the past week and he and his agent Raymond Brothers sensed a serious commitment to keep Randolph in Memphis with a new deal.
“We have a great level of comfort and trust with Robert Pera and Chris Wallace,” Brothers told Yahoo Sports on Monday. “Chris and I have been working together for years. He is a good guy.”
Randolph averaged 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds a game last season.
Stability matters, and while the Grizzlies have not had it in the front office and coach staffs they do have it on the court. They need Zach Randolph to stay, ideally at a price that allows them to get some more shooting.
There is a fair price for both sides (less than the $16.5 million, maybe in the four years, $48 million range). Sounds like they are working towards it and will get a deal done.
DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.