Now that Rudy Gay is headed to Toronto, that leaves Zach Randolph as the big earner in Memphis -- he's guaranteed $17.8 million next season and has a $16.5 million option for 2014-15. With the Grizzlies acquiring 23-year-old power forward Ed Davis as part of the trade, though, we have to wonder if Randolph could follow Gay out the door.
Davis is coming into his own this season, his third in the league, averaging of 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in just over 24 minutes a game. He's had to split time with Amir Johnson his entire time in Toronto, and will again be relegated to a backup role in Memphis as long as Randolph is there.
Now, the Grizzlies don't have to deal Randolph -- today's trade puts them well below the luxury tax for next season -- but it's conceivable that they might entertain the idea of swapping the veteran power forward for a greater need (perhaps a shooting guard?) either this year or next, and moving ahead with Davis as the starter at the 4. Davis and Randolph's player efficiency ratings are very comparable -- Davis is at 18.19 and Randolph at 18.77 entering Wednesday -- however Davis is due to earn only $3.15 million next season, less than a fifth of what Randolph will bring in.
What wing players might make be available in a trade for Randolph? Tyreke Evans is certainly one that comes to mind. J.J. Redick and/or Arron Afflalo could probably be obtained in the right package. Other names to consider: Avery Bradley, Monta Ellis, Nick Young, Thaddeus Young, Andre Iguodala, Marcus Thornton and Vince Carter.