Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph: “I Ain’t Retired Yet”

Zach Randolph was technically under contract for most of the 2018/19 campaign, spending much of the season with the Kings before he was traded to Dallas at the deadline and was subsequently waived by the Mavericks. However, he didn’t appear in a single game all year.

Now more than a year removed from playing in a regular season contest, Randolph acknowledged to David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal that he has “a lot of stuff going on outside of basketball” and has considered transitioning to the next phase of his career.

“I’ve been working on some things, just really trying to see what I want to do with the next part of my life,” Randolph said. “I’ve been thinking about hanging it up and seeing what’s going on and what I want to do in the next phase of my life.”

However, the 38-year-old isn’t ready to officially call it a career at this time, telling Cobb, “I ain’t retired yet.”

While Randolph may not be ready to announce his retirement, it would be a little surprising if he returns to the NBA. The longtime power forward added a decent three-point shot to his arsenal in 2017/18, when he made 34.7% of 147 attempts for Sacramento, but his skill set otherwise isn’t an ideal fit for the modern NBA and there are only a small handful of players still in the league who are older than him.

If Randolph does decide to formally retire, he’d be a candidate to sign a one-day contract with Memphis to go out as a member of the Grizzlies. He spent eight of his 17 years in the NBA with the franchise, earning a pair of All-Star nods and an All-NBA spot during that stretch.

Mavericks Waive Zach Randolph

FEBRUARY 8: The Mavericks have officially waived Randolph, the team announced today in a press release.

FEBRUARY 7: Veteran big man Zach Randolph, acquired by the Mavericks in a deadline deal with the Kings, will be waived by Dallas, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Given his sizable cap hit ($11,692,308), Randolph will almost certainly go unclaimed, so he’ll become an unrestricted free agent once he clears waivers. He’ll be free to sign with any team besides Sacramento at that point.

There’s no indication based on Charania’s report that Randolph has agreed to reduce his salary as part of the transactions. Veterans on oversized contracts generally only agree to buyouts if they have a new destination lined up, and it’s not clear if that’s the case for Randolph.

The 37-year-old had yet to appear in a game for the Kings this season after playing 59 games (57 starts) in 2017/18. Randolph was still productive last season, averaging 14.5 PPG and 6.7 RPG on .473/.347/.785. While his limited ability to protect the rim or switch on defense will reduce his appeal to some extent it’s possible he’ll still draw interest from contending teams.

Trade Rumors: Davis, Randolph, Wolves, Morris

The Knicks and Lakers are equal on Anthony Davis‘ list of preferred destinations, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. The Clippers and Bucks also remain in the top four, Stein adds. New York may make a bid for Davis before the deadline, but it should be in a stronger position after the draft lottery when everyone knows where its first-rounder will fall (Twitter link).

League sources tell Stein that Davis doesn’t expect to sign his next contract before he reaches free agency in 2020, no matter where he is by then (Twitter link). That means anyone who trades for Davis won’t be assured of a long-term extension.

He has been sidelined with a fractured left index finger, but Davis intends to resume playing regardless of what happens at the trade deadline (Twitter link). He has received medical clearance to return to action, but the Pelicans haven’t divulged their plans for Davis if there’s no trade on Thursday. He was held out of two games this week to avoid further injury.

Here’s a roundup of rumors heading into the trade deadline:

  • The Lakers are running out of hope that a Davis trade will be completed before the deadline, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Pelicans GM Dell Demps hasn’t responded to Magic Johnson’s latest offer, and it appears New Orleans is content to run out the clock. The Pelicans may never have been serious about dealing with L.A. and might have been trying to sabotage the Lakers as revenge for what they consider to be tampering, tweets Rachel Nichols, host of ESPN’s “The Jump.” “It’s not just possible, it’s what happened,” colleague Brian Windhorst said today in an appearance on the show.
  • The Mavericks will have buyout talks with newly acquired Zach Randolph, Wojnarowski tweets. The 37-year-old hasn’t played yet this season, but he may be able to help a contender.
  • The Timberwolves continue to look for someone to take Jeff Teague and Gorgui Dieng, sources tell Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune. Teague has a $19MM player option for next season, while Dieng still has two seasons left on his four-year, $63MM deal. Minnesota hasn’t found much interest, but it may be willing to attach Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Anthony Tolliver or Luol Deng as incentives.
  • New Pelican Markieff Morris could become a buyout candidate once he’s fully recovered from a neck injury, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
  • The Thunder plan to watch what the Suns do with Wayne Ellington and may be interested if he hits the buyout market, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link).

Kings Acquire Harrison Barnes From Mavericks

FEBRUARY 7, 12:43am: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Mavericks. The club confirmed it has released Mejri, who will become a free agent if he clears waivers.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), assuming Dallas uses its recently-created Wesley Matthews traded player exception to absorb Randolph’s salary, the team should generate a new TPE worth $21,299,378. It would be the largest trade exception in NBA history.

FEBRUARY 7, 12:13am: Because they’re acquiring two players in exchange for one, the Mavericks will need to waive a player to finalize the trade. That player will be Salah Mejri, according to Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com (Twitter link). Mejri was informed of the decision during Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte, per JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link).

FEBRUARY 6, 9:18pm: The Mavericks are finalizing a trade that will send Harrison Barnes to Sacramento, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph will be heading to Dallas, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). There are no picks involved in the deal, confirms Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).

The Kings are hoping for a long-term arrangement with Barnes, who has a $25.1MM player option for next season, Woj adds (Twitter link). He has been a consistent scorer during his two and a half years in Dallas, peaking at 19.2 PPG in 2016/17. He is averaging 17.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 48 games this season.

Sacramento, which is the only team with remaining cap space, will use $10.5MM to complete the trade, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. Barnes has an 8% trade bonus that comes to $686,443 if the deal is finalized tomorrow. The Kings will have $21MM in cap room this summer if Barnes opts in or $45.2MM if he doesn’t. Today’s trades will leave Sacramento with an open roster spot.

The Kings appear serious about making a run at a playoff spot, which seems more available after the Clippers traded Tobias Harris early this morning. Sacramento started the day in ninth place at 28-25, just one game behind L.A.

The trade leaves Dallas close to being able to offer a maximum contract in free agency this summer, tweets ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Jackson will make $3.28MM next season and Randolph has an $11.7MM expiring contract. Lowe states that the position of the Mavericks’ 2019 first-round pick could determine whether they can reach a full max deal. Dallas won’t have that pick – or the associated cap hold – unless it lands in the top five.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wesley Matthews Would Be Popular Target On Buyout Market

Veteran swingman Wesley Matthews made his Knicks debut on Sunday, but it’s unclear how many more games he’ll play for the club. New York has received “multiple inquiries” about Matthews, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who hears from a source that the Sixers are expected to have some interest in a deal.

Berman writes that a buyout “won’t happen,” but that could be posturing from the Knicks’ side, as opening the door for that possibility would diminish Matthews’ value on the trade market. If the 32-year-old ends up being bought out, he’d be a popular free agent target, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Stein identifies the Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, 76ers, and Warriors as teams hoping Matthews makes it to free agency. Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com had previously reported (via Twitter) that Houston would have interest in Matthews on the buyout market.

While the Knicks appear to be resisting the buyout route, it might be tricky for the club to find a taker for Matthews by Thursday’s deadline. The franchise has zero interest in taking on 2019/20 salary, and there aren’t a ton of expiring contracts around the NBA that make sense as salary-matching pieces for Matthews’ own $18.6MM expiring deal.

A team like the Kings might make sense as a trade partner for the Knicks, since they have $11MM in cap room and multiple non-rotation veterans on expiring deals, including Zach Randolph ($11.7MM). Clubs like the Rockets, Thunder, and Raptors, however, wouldn’t have a clear path to a trade, given their current cap situations, which is why they’re hoping Matthews is ultimately bought out.

As the Knicks consider their options with Matthews, it’s worth noting that head coach David Fizdale has said that he believes both Matthews and DeAndre Jordan could have a future in New York, as Berman relays. The Knicks are hoping that Jordan will be a “big influence” on rookie center Mitchell Robinson, Berman adds.

“Both of those guys have played some [playoff] series on some really good basketball teams,” Fizdale said. “And who knows what the future holds for these guys? They’re ours now, free agents at the end of the year, but who knows? I want them to come here and enjoy the process with us and really help the young guys.”

Kings In Position To Be Active At Trade Deadline

Sacramento remains the only team in the NBA to have any cap space on its 2018/19 payroll, and as the February 7 trade deadline fast approaches, this means that the Kings are positioned to be a major player in the trade market, if they so choose, writes James Ham of NBC Sports California.

That being said, the Kings aren’t interested in taking on any long-term deals with their cap space unless a player on a long-term deal can help the team win now and in the future. Additionally, the team is reportedly not interested in taking on any expiring contracts to help another club save money unless assets are attached to said contract.

So, what do the Kings want? Per Ham, the Kings are motivated to add more length and size at the small forward position, while also interested in adding a veteran point guard to bring off the bench in a back-up/potential mentorship role for budding star De’Aaron Fox.

[RELATED: Kings Among Teams Interested in Jeremy Lin]

In addition to their $11MM in cap space, the Kings have the expiring contracts of Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos, and Ben McLemore to worth with. Swingman Iman Shumpert is also in the final year of his contract, but has provided a veteran spark to a young team still competing for a playoff spot. Then again, Shumpert is only 6’5″ and plays small forward. As mentioned above, the team is interested in adding length to that position, so Shumpert could also be expendable if an attractive enough deal comes along.

As for the Kings’ current assets, Sacramento has no interest in moving any of its young talent (e.g. Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley, or Buddy Hield) unless it means the team is making a massive long-term investment in a star-level player. And even then, the aforementioned core group of youngsters is close to untouchable.

In Ham’s view, general manager Vlade Divac should look to be active, as Sacramento has worked hard to be a player in the trade market and is the only team with cap space to use. However, the Kings should also be wary of using that cap space to take on future money that could eat into future cap room. Ultimately, Ham would be surprised to see no moves made before the deadline.

Knicks Have Explored Kanter, Parker Trade Scenario

As the Knicks attempt to find a new home for Enes Kanter, one scenario recently discussed by the team would see New York acquire Bulls forward Jabari Parker, reports Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Both Kanter ($18.6MM) and Parker ($20MM) are on pricey expiring contracts, and the Knicks were previously cited as one of the teams that expressed interest in the former No. 2 overall pick. However, Chicago is unlikely to have any interest in Kanter, since the team is headed for the lottery and wants youngsters like Wendell Carter, Lauri Markkanen, and Bobby Portis to handle the brunt of the frontcourt minutes.

Bondy acknowledges as much, writing that finding a third team to take Kanter represented a “snag in the framework” of a deal involving Kanter and Parker. It’s unclear if discussions ever really got off the ground and advanced beyond the preliminary stages, Bondy adds.

Like the Bulls, the Knicks are currently focused on player development rather than playoff contention, and Kanter has made it clear he’s not on board with that approach, so the team has been on the lookout for potential trades.

The Knicks reportedly talked to the Kings about a possible swap involving Kanter and Zach Randolph, who has an $11MM+ expiring contract. Bondy suggests that Sacramento would like to add Kosta Koufos – another veteran on an expiring contract – to that hypothetical deal, but says the Knicks would require a sweetener (ie. a second-round pick) to make it work.

It’s not clear how much interest the Knicks really have in Parker, but if they like him as a player and view him as a better long-term fit than Kanter, acquiring him in a trade would give them some options in the offseason. His $20MM team option will certainly be declined, but whichever team has him at the end of the season would hold his Non-Bird rights and could offer him a starting salary ranging from anywhere between the minimum and $24MM.

Knicks, Kings Discussing Enes Kanter, Zach Randolph

The Knicks and Kings are discussing a potential trade that would see the teams swap the expiring contracts of Enes Kanter and Zach Randolph, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

However, according to Wojnarowski, nothing is close yet, as Sacramento would prefer to send out more expiring money in any such trade. Getting a third team involved could help pave the way to a deal, Woj adds.

Kanter, 26, has had an inconsistent role for the Knicks this season as the team focuses on developing young bigs like Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson. Kanter has spoken repeatedly about how much he likes playing in New York and hasn’t requested a trade, but he may welcome the opportunity to get more regular playing time for a team in the playoff hunt as he approaches unrestricted free agency.

[RELATED: Enes Kanter met with Knicks’ GM to discuss role]

The Kings fit that bill, remaining in the race for a postseason berth despite a recent slump. The 20-21 squad is currently tied with Utah and Minnesota, two games back of the Lakers for the No. 8 seed. Sacramento also has approximately $11MM in cap room, which means the club could comfortably take on Kanter’s $18.6MM salary in exchange for Randolph’s $11.7MM contract without having to worry about salary matching.

That may not be the best use of the Kings’ cap space though — that space figures to be a valuable asset at next month’s trade deadline, since every other NBA team is over the cap. It’s also not clear why the Knicks would be incentivized to make a Kanter/Randolph swap, besides some modest financial savings in 2018/19, but perhaps the club is simply ready to move on from its veteran center.

In 41 games (26.5 MPG) this season, Kanter has been his usual productive self, posting 14.4 PPG and 11.0 RPG. While he can score and is an excellent rebounder, the former third overall pick isn’t a strong defender or rim protector, which will limit his value on the trade market.

As for Randolph, the 37-year-old hasn’t appeared in a single game for the Kings so far in the final season of his two-year contract with the club. At this point, he’s a trade candidate simply for his expiring deal, and would certainly emerge as a buyout candidate if he’s not moved by February 7.

The Kings also have veterans like Kosta Koufos ($8.7MM) and Ben McLemore ($5.5MM) on expiring contracts and could look to make the most of those deals in trades in the coming weeks. Iman Shumpert ($11MM) is in the final year of his contract too, but has emerged as a reliable on-court contributor and off-court leader for Sacramento, reducing the odds that he’d be used as a trade chip.

Dinwiddie Extension Good News For Rozier, Russell?

League executives at last week’s G League Showcase in Las Vegas were “raving” about the Nets‘ deal to lock up Spencer Dinwiddie to a three-year, $34.3MM extension, comparing it to the Clippers‘ three-year, $24MM agreement with Lou Williams, writes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider-only link).

According to Marks, two teams he spoke to in Vegas had Dinwiddie ranked as the third-best point guard in the 2019 free agent class before he signed his extension, placing him behind only Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. That would have put Dinwiddie ahead of younger players like Terry Rozier (Celtics) and D’Angelo Russell (Nets), both of whom are on track for restricted free agency.

Rozier and Russell should benefit from Dinwiddie’s deal, since it takes one of 2019’s top FA point guards off the board and could create additional competition for their services. According to Marks, league execs in Vegas last week identified the Magic and Suns as probable suitors for Rozier and Russell, though the Celtics and Nets will have the upper hand until an offer sheet is on the table.

Here’s more from Marks:

  • Teams are monitoring Markelle Fultz, not just to keep an eye on his health and future, but also to see how Fultz’s status will impact Sixers teammate T.J. McConnell, according to Marks. McConnell is headed for unrestricted free agency and is unlikely to get an in-season extension if Philadelphia intends to maximize its 2019 cap room. McConnell could command a salary in the $5-7MM range, Marks notes.
  • Teams around the NBA believe there could be a strong group of buyout candidates available later this season. According to Marks, the veteran players that clubs are keeping an eye on include Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez, Zach Randolph, Anthony Tolliver, Enes Kanter, Kenneth Faried, Jerryd Bayless, Iman Shumpert, Kosta Koufos, Alec Burks, J.R. Smith, and Jabari Parker. Some of those vets may be traded and some figure to remain with their current teams, but I could definitely see several of them ending up on the buyout market.

Kings Eyeing Otto Porter Jr.

The Kings are “closely monitoring” the Wizards with an eye toward potentially making a play for forward Otto Porter Jr., league sources tell Jason Jones of The Athletic.

Sacramento has long been fond of Porter, pursuing him when he reached restricted free agency in 2017. Although the Kings made Porter a maximum-salary contract offer at that point, he ultimately decided to sign a similar offer sheet with the Nets, which was subsequently matched by Washington.

Now, with the Wizards reportedly willing to listen to inquiries on any of their players and the Kings still seeking a long-term answer at small forward, the time might be right for Sacramento to go after the 25-year-old once again.

Porter’s contract, which features a $26MM cap hit for 2018/19 and is worth $55.7MM over the following two seasons, is considered onerous, but the Kings’ books are clear of significant long-term commitments. They’re about $11MM under the cap right now, and project to have a ton of cap room in 2019. With Sacramento not viewed as a realistic player for 2019’s star free agents, it makes sense that the team would be open to the idea of sacrificing some of that potential cap space by acquiring a possible core piece in a trade.

The Kings also have several veterans on expiring contracts who could be used for salary-matching purposes, including Zach Randolph ($11.69MM), Kosta Koufos ($8.74MM), and Ben McLemore ($5.46MM).

It remains to be seen what approach the Wizards will take to in-season trade negotiations, since they’re still very much in the mix for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, despite their slow start. If they do decide to shake things up, Porter appears to be the likeliest trade candidate of the Wizards’ “Big Three.” He’d have more trade value than John Wall, and Washington would be more inclined to move him than Bradley Beal.