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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Zach Randolph will come off bench for Memphis this season

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Zach Randolph’s days as a starting power forward in the Association appear to be in the rearview mirror.

According to a report by Alexis Morgan of the team’s official site, Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale has informed Randolph that he will be coming off the bench during the 2016-17 season. JaMychal Green will be starting in place of Randolph, who was said to be very receptive to the news.

The two-time All-Star Randolph, who posted averages of 15.3 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game in 2015-16, has been highly regarded throughout his 15-year career as one of the NBA’s top blue-collar post-up brutes. But capitulation to small-ball has become a necessary evil in a league where starting two back-to-the-basket behemoths next to each other is no longer a feasible option. It’s especially so with a player like Randolph who requires a high usage rate, is too lead-footed to defend guards on pick-and-roll switches, and doesn’t really make plays or protect the basket.

As a better floor-stretcher and ball-mover, Green will make for a strong fit alongside Marc Gasol this coming season, while the newly-signed Chandler Parsons is also a solid alternative as an undersized 4. Meanwhile, the now-35-year-old Randolph could still thrive now that he has complete freedom to munch on weaker opposing second units, which should help keep his quote game in mint condition.

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