The Memphis Grizzlies have won six of their last seven games and finally climbed over the .500 mark.
This recent stretch of basketball may have changed the minds of a couple of members in their front office – most notably general manager Chris Wallace – as to which direction the team should go.
They are 25-24, competing for a playoff spot and could have their foundation of the future with veteran Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. But a lot of March Madness betting analysts know from watching some of their younger players in previous college basketball seasons that players like Xavier Henry, just aren’t ready to be the prospects of the future in Memphis. Names like Sam Young, Hasheem Thabeet and Greivis Vasquez can be thrown into the mix as well.
The real concern lies with 20-10 man Zach Randolph, who has been relatively well-behaved as a member of the Grizzlies and has helped changed them into a mid-tier Western Conference team opposed to a bottom-basement squad.
He’s the 12th highest-paid player in the league but his $17.3 million contract expires this year.
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Do the Grizzlies re-sign him? Trade him for other parts? Or let his contract expire and use the cap space for someone else?
Marc Gasol is also in the final year of his contract and combined with Randolph, he makes up the entire Grizzlies front court. If they have any hope of being a contender, they need both of these players back or have to replace them with upgrades.
The other key decision the Grizzlies have is where to trade guard O.J. Mayo. He’s become a sourpuss on the team and while his trade value is low, it is possible he could bring back a key contributor.
But if Memphis doesn’t plan to contend, they should at least get some assets in return as the Grizzlies will drop back down into the basement in the West if they fail to re-sign or recoup any value for their pending free agents up front.