Zach Randolph Seeks Pau Gasol-Like Contract Extension
Randolph might not know the exact details of the three-year, $57 million extension Gasol's brother, Lakers big man Pau Gasol, signed last December that runs through the 2013-14 season. But Randolph does believe he's worthy of getting a similar extension.
"Definitely,'' Randolph said.
Randolph said in an interview with FanHouse before Monday's game at Denver he wants to sign an extension this summer, and has told Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley his desire to remain with the Grizzlies beyond when his contract expires in 2011. He brought up the link to Pau Gasol.
"Me and Pau Gasol got signed to the same deal when he was in Memphis and I was in Portland,'' said Randolph, whose contract actually is slightly less, with Randolph making $16 million this season and $17.33 million next season and the Lakers star earning $16.45 million and $17.82 million in those seasons. "We got the same contract, and it got extended. ... I hope (to get the extension done this summer). I'd definitely like to get it done.''
Randolph, averaging 20.9 points and 11.8 rebounds and coming off his first All-Star appearance in February, is hoping he won't have to test the free-agent market in 2011.
"I like it here,'' Randolph said of Memphis. "I told the owner I want to be here. If they're going to let me be open and be a free agent or they're going to extend me or lock me in, I'd rather take a lock in.''
Although the Grizzlies perhaps first must turn their attention to restricted free agents Rudy Gay and Ronnie Brewer, Heisley said he plans to have extension talks this summer with Randolph.
"Quite frankly, Zach obviously has been a player that really has made the difference for us this year,'' Heisley said by phone. "Obviously, we want to keep him through the rest of his career. We've got some things with the players that we have to sign, like Rudy Gay and some other players, but hopefully we can work on an extension (with Randolph). I am going to talk to him.''
Heisley declined to say whether Randolph could command an extension similar to Pau Gasol's.
As for Gay and Brewer, Heisley is determined to sign both this summer. He reiterated plans to match any offer sheet that might be put down on Gay.
"We're going to do everything we can to keep him,'' Heisley said. "Everybody is writing this (junk) about how we're going to lose Rudy. But how are we going to lose him (due to the Grizzlies being able to match any offer)? I like Rudy. He's a special player. He's not a franchise player, but, if he keeps improving, I'm sure he will become one.''
Brewer could end up being an interesting negotiation for the Grizzlies. Heisley admits it's tough to get a read on Brewer, who was acquired Feb. 18 from Utah but suffered a partially torn hamstring the next day and ended up playing in just four Grizzlies games.
"No question, we want to re-sign him,'' Heisley said. "We didn't give up that asset (a first-round draft choice) to not. ... It's very difficult (due to Brewer's injury). It is very tough for a guy when he's in his contract year and he gets hurt. ... But it wasn't his fault. ... We gave up a first-round draft choice and we're in the same position as if we wouldn't (have made the deal).''
So let the negotiations begin July 1. When it comes to Randolph getting a deal similar to Pau Gasol's, Heiley might not want to talk with Marc Gasol.
"That's not my job. If it were my job, everybody would get maxed out,'' he joked when asked if Randolph should get an extension similar to his brother's.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson