NBA / Feb 1, 2008 / 1:17 pm

Rose Parade

IMAGE DESCRIPTIONWas it the right move to deal Zach?

As Zach Randolph prepares to enter the Rose Garden for the first time since joining the circus, er, I mean the Knicks, analysts seem eager to evaluate the nuts and bolts of the Knicks/Blazers Randolph-for-Channing Frye deal.

But curiously, the question isn’t even worth asking in Portland. They’re convinced they won the deal. Blazers Nation has sworn Z-Bo off, even if they received a wallflower in exchange for a 20-and-10 guy. The Oregonian‘s comments section is littered with Blazers fans gearing up to boo Zach out of the building tonight. “Make it known that we are glad he is gone!” writes BlazersRock. “I’m going to boo him tonight and I’m so very glad he’s gone!” writes stevereno. The addition-by-subtraction perspective makes sense, right? Portland is 26-19, only six wins off of last year’s 32-win total. Randolph was on that team. He’s not around anymore, so Portland made a great deal, right?

Wrong. Shipping Randolph to the East Coast cleared the lane for Brandon Roy – that’s undeniable. Roy has emerged as one of the most talented young players in the League, and was deservingly named an All-Star. But a frontline of LaMarcus Aldridge and Joel Przybilla (with Frye off the bench) pales in comparison to the best of the West. New Orleans’ pairing of David West and Tyson Chandler downed this duo in a 96-81 win on January 23rd: West and Chandler combined for 31 points and 19 boards – Aldridge and Przybilla combined for 23 points and 13 boards. Frye had a huge 0 point, 6 rebound night.

How about the Blazers’ frontline being totally outplayed on the 19th by the Magic’s, who totaled 46 points and 26 boards among Raw Lew, Dwight and Turkoglu to the 27 points, 21 rebounds of four Blazers: Aldridge, Frye, Przybilla and Webster… How about getting outrebounded 48-30 in a loss to Houston on the 25th? Zach bangs bodies and grabs boards better than anyone in Portland by almost three per night.

In two games against Orlando, Randolph has 45 points and 22 boards by himself. In two games against Houston, he has 28 points and 33 rebounds.

Perhaps the most important question is thus whether Roy and Travis Outlaw would be having such success if Randolph were still around? Roy is 22 years old now, and he’s still getting better. He hasn’t gotten that many more touches than he did last year when Z-Bo was around: he’s only taken two more shots per game – from 13.4 to 15.7 attempts per night. The kid’s just gotten better – it would have happened anywhere he played.

So, when it comes time for the playoffs, do you want a guy who is going to line up on the free throw line and watch Tim Duncan sink your dreams? Or do you want a guy who is going to work to win the game?

“Not one of us is really a legit, going-to-win-you-the-whole-game type of guy, so we need to work together,” Frye said of his Portland team recently to The New York Times.

Or do you want this guy? “I want to win,” Randolph said. “I’m coming back home. I want to play good and help my team win.”

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  • dasmedc

    wat about the fact z-bo is a cancer? not a team player, ballhog, etc. thats why portland traded him. sometimes its more than just the numbers

  • Sam Boobie


  • The Great Yinka

    you can’t deal talent for obedience and expect to get a fair deal. this trade was 50 cents on the dollar for portland. Nate McMillan would really be the coach of the year if he got it to work in Portland with Zach.

  • Myrie

    Zach Randolph is a ballhog and sucks on defense. Your little sister can score on him.

    But the Blazers gave up their best reounder. And they stink collectively at rebounding the basketball. But…Greg Oden will be back next year. So it like they’re still going to get the #1 pick and he will certainly help them out on the boards.

    Randolph is in the wrong system. He needs to be playing with a defensive minded center (ala Chicago) and for a coach who will allow him offensive freedom (ala NOT Chicago).

    Portland got the better of this deal.

  • Coldchain

    Zach gets scored on, but he also gives his guy 20-25 points. So does that mean everyone guarding him sucks at defense, too?

  • The Great Yinka

    I like Myrie’s take. If Eddy Curry was a defensive-minded center then it’s a much better deal for the Knicks. But in order for it to be a good trade, doesn’t Portland need to get something out of it? How can you say they got the better end of the deal, when they gave up a 23-10 guy and got a 6-4 guy?

  • Kobeef

    People tend to forget that Isiah is getting 20-10 out of Z-bo instead of paying Steve Franchise to retire. I’d say given those two options Isiah loves this trade.

    Also, the “channing frye is untouchable” was the biggest smokescreen we’ve seen in the NBA in quite some time. You have to give isiah some credit for that con-job.

    Sure the Knicks suck but Z-bo is a player that could be valuable in a trade or is a good piece to continue to build around (with a defensive centre at his side as Myrie says). Imagine if Lebron goes to NY in 2010 (vey likely…have you seen his NY Yankee shoes?)

    Knicks could start:

    PG: Nate
    SG: Jamal Crawford
    SF: Lebron
    PF: Z-bo
    C: Sam Delambert (as an example of a player Isiah could get who better fits with his team)

    Z-bo is certainly a better fit in this system than Steve Francis.

    Also, it is worth wondering if the Blazers could have found a better PG in exchange for z-bo. Jack is OK and so is blake but they could really use some more depth at that position. A young PG would have been a better trade than Steve F.

    I’d say NY won this one when you look at the big picture. Sure portland is having a great season so it is easy to forget they are paying Stevie F $32million…but if it hadn’t worked out I am sure we’d be thinking about all of the other ways they could have invested $32 million.

  • Myrie

    @ Coldchain–
    I am in NY and I get to see a fair share of Knick games. In person and televised. From what I have seen (feel free to disagree if you wish) Zach Randolph has no desire to play any defense. No movement, no body’iung up his man, no ball denial…nada.

    He is skilled as an offensive player, so it is not a surprise he can score 20-25pts a night. I would not say everyone who guards him sucks on defense. But as you may be aware, there are solid offensive players in the league and solid defensive players in the league. Zach is NOT a solid defensive player. He just lacks the overall desire and will to compete defensively. No effort whatsoever.

    @ The Great Yinka–
    Portland did not get a 6’4 guy from the Knicks. They received Steve Francis (whom they immediately boughtout) and Channing Frye; who is 6’11.

    Portland got the better of the deal in many ways. Their only loss was on the boards in terms of rebounds. Zach Randolph didn’t always get along with management in Portland; although he seemed to mesh just fine with coach McMillan. His off court troubles were the main reason he was traded; “addition by subtraction” as they say. And to this point….Portland has a better record and a brighter future than the Knicks. So it is not difficult to presume the Blazers got the better end of the deal. What more proof would you need?

  • Steven

    Portland’s enthusiasm to be rid of Zach has very little to do with numbers and basketball. I lived in Pdx for a loooooong time and have seen a ton of Blazer games.

    J.R. Rider ushered in the Jail Blazers title and Zach is precieved to be the last link to that um… legacy. One must remember Portland is a small town and the people paying to watch the Blazers play are 95% white and conservative so Zach, Bonzi, Mighty Mouse, Sheed, and J.R. Rider were all easliy villified as “gangsta.” Not saying that they didn’t constantly make stupid decision- but now that they are all gone- Portland is back to its “good” squeaky clean citizen image that the city so dearly loves.

    Zach’s a 20-10 guy period. But if you refer to yourself as stevereno then the reasons for booing are all too obvious.

    I’m still a Blazers fan and I’m still hoping Issiah gets fired and Zach is fully utilized with the Knicks. Curry is just this year’s Jerome James.

  • The Great Yinka

    Myrie –
    I should have clarified, but when I said 6-4, I didn’t mean height, I meant that Channing Frye gets 6 points and 4 rebounds a night.

  • Myrie

    The Great Yinka(Dare?)–

    Oh. I see. I thought you meant height. Channing Frye is decent. He won’t give you what Zach Randolph can, but he will be utilized well coming off the bench behind Aldridge and Oden.
    6pts, 4rebs aren’t great numbers, but its the first half of his first year with a new team. Allow more time for Frye. He’ll be an 8pts, 8reb impact guy next year.

  • EK

    This has to possibly be the worst piece of so called “journalism” I’ve ever read. First of all, great job taking Channing Frye’s comments out of context at the end of your article. If you bothered to read the whole article, you’d notice that he was talking about how the Blazers are playing as a team, which is evident by their records.

    Just take a look at the standings and tell me who got the raw deal. You also conveniently forget to mention a guy named Greg Oden.

    Get outa here…

  • EJM

    I gotta agree with EK…

    This shouldn’t even be an argument. Portland easily got the better end of the deal, simply look at the win-loss record. Zach is a great scorer and rebounder there is no doubt about that. What you gotta consider however, is the nature of the blazer’s game. Their success is predicated on good defense, ball movement, and playing as a team. None of these are Zach’s strong suit. Coupled with the fact that Portland is trying to change the culture and attitude of a young blazer team, it’s easy to see that moving Zach was a necessity. I certainly agree that they didn’t get equal value, and of course they could use a greater inside presence, but in the end the trade worked out wonderfully for the blazers. And just wait til Greg Oden starts owning the paint! As for the Knicks… the trade didn’t make sense at the time and still doesn’t. Teaming Curry with Randolph? Chalk up another one for Isiah…

  • Dime Magazine


    I respect your opinion but let me ask you to flesh out your issue with the argument. Statistically, I don’t think it’s so unfair to say that the Knicks got the better end of a trade. The Blazers gave up a ton of points and boards in exchange for someone whose biggest contribution is that he doesn’t get in the way of his teammates.

    Frye’s comments, while taken from an article about playing as a team, still stand. Sure he wasn’t asked about evaluating the trade six months after the fact, but his self-insight as a not “going-to-win-you-the-whole-game” guy is what it is. What’s to object with?

    That being said, I think that you’re right about the Oden factor. He could very well contribute similar numbers to Randolph while not having the same off court issues.

    – AK

  • Ken

    Short-sighted article?

    Where the heck is Oden mentioned in the article? Blazers traded Z-Bo because the chose their front court to be LaMarcus and Oden.

  • QQ

    I agree with most of the guys here: this article lacks a whole lot of perspective.

    1. Randolph is a locker room disease that infects his teammates with his lack of work ethic and “damn!it’s me! it’s me! LOOK AT ME!” attitude. Where is this in the article?

    2.Portland has a lot of young guys that need a model player as their leader. How many times was Zbo charged by the police? Too many to mention? Exactly. Where is THIS in the article?

    3.Portland was already certain that Greg Oden would be getting a lot less touches if a ballHOG like Randolph would still be in the team, and of course, they wouldn’t want that. Where the fuck is Oden in this article?

    Damn Dime. Wadafuck.