Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies made it official on Monday: the All-Star forward exercised his 2014-15 player option and signed a multi-year contract extention. The signing confirms earlier reports on Randolph’s decision to remain in Memphis following some back-and-forth contract negotiations last month, and it appears he will have a good opportunity to finish his career in a Grizzlies uniform.
Randolph will sign a two-year contract extension after exercising his player option for next season, effectively keeping Randolph in Memphis through the 2016-17 season, according to Yahoo! Sports/FOX Sports 1 NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski. The player option is worth $16.5 million while the two-year extension will total $20 million.
Randolph’s agreed to terms just ahead of the June 30 deadline to exercise the player option. If he had declined, he would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
"Zach has become a cornerstone of our franchise, and his contributions have been immense not just on the court but in the Memphis community," Grizzlies interim general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. "Through that process, he’s become one of the most popular Grizzlies in the history of the organization."
With Randolph still in the fold, the Grizzlies hold on to the franchise’s tough-minded identity that has led them to a franchise-record four straight playoff appearances. Randolph is now set to re-join center and frontcourt mate Marc Gasol for at least one more year for the 2014-15 season — Gasol is set to become an unrestricted free agent next year — along with starters Mike Conley, Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince. The Grizzlies also added Tennessee big man Jarnell Stokes, a likely backup for Randolph and Gasol next season, along with UCLA wing Jordan Adams through the draft.
Since being traded to the Grizzlies in July 2009, Randolph has reinvigorated his career, making two All-Star appearances and establishing himself as one of the top low-post scorers in the NBA. As the Grizzlies pointed out in their release, Randolph became the fourth-quickest active player to reach 400 career double-doubles this past season. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in double-doubles and offensive rebounds.
Randolph has averaged 17.8 points and 11 rebounds in 339 games played for the Grizzlies.