The Memphis Grizzlies currently possess the #22 pick in this year’s draft. With the future of Zach Randolph still undecided, the main focus of the Grizzlies organization seems to be making sure that Zach Randolph stays with the team and finishes his career as a member of the Grizzlies. While I agree that retaining Randolph is key for the Grizzlies, I am not convinced that the team should be idle and just see what falls to them at the #22 pick. With a draft that is as loaded with talent as this year’s draft, the Grizzlies have to think about making a move to get themselves a really high draft pick in this year’s draft. If the Grizzlies want to make a move to get a high pick in this year’s draft, there is only one possible option, which is to trade Marc Gasol. Zach Randolph isn’t an option because he is 32 years old and is entering the last stretch of his career. Marc Gasol on the other hand is 29 years old, and just entering the prime of his career.
It is possible, though not likely that a team like the Sacramento Kings, who possess the #8 pick in the draft would listen to a trade package that would involve Marc Gasol and the #22 pick. I think if the Grizzlies could pull off a move like this, it would be a great move for the long-term. The team needs a new piece to build around and it isn’t obvious that this team is one player away from contending. If they stick with the #22 pick, they probably draft a quality shooting guard to help them be more lethal from 3-point range, but is that going to get this team over the hump to win a championship? If the Grizzlies really want to win a title, they need to take a page out of the book of the Utah Jazz and sacrifice success for now to win in the future. The biggest hurdle for the franchise to overcome would be selling this to Zach Randolph. If they want to make him happy, they probably need to keep Marc Gasol. But it’s also possible that he wants to remain in Memphis purely because of his loyalty to the team, which means he would welcome such a trade.
Either way, I don’t think Zach Randolph leaving is a good enough reason for the Grizzlies to not pull the trigger on this kind of deal. The bottom line is the Grizzlies need to have winning a championship as their goal. I’m starting to think that the way things are going, the Grizzlies won’t accomplish that goal, which is why they need to strongly consider trading Marc Gasol for a high pick in the draft and laying the foundation for a strong future over the next 10 years.