Grizzlies sign Zach Randolph to contract extension

The Memphis Grizzlies signed franchise cornerstone Zach Randolph to a multi-year contract extension, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“During a week that has seen the Grizzlies franchise take a significant step forward with its first-ever postseason victory, it is incredibly meaningful for this organization to be able to take another by ensuring that Zach Randolph will continue to play on Beale Street for many years to come,” said Chris Wallace, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations.  “Zach has been a pillar for this team on the floor and in the community from the moment he arrived two seasons ago, and his leadership has helped to solidify our talented young core, putting the Grizzlies in position for continued success moving forward.”

The 6-9, 255-pound forward posted 20.1 points (19th in the NBA), a career-high and franchise-record 12.2 rebounds (3rd) and 2.2 assists on .503 shooting in 36.3 minutes in 75 games in his second season in the Bluff City.  Randolph led Memphis to the club’s first postseason victory Sunday with 25 points and 14 rebounds against the No. 1-seeded San Antonio Spurs.

One of the league’s most dominant post scorers and rebounders, Randolph wrapped up his third consecutive season with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds per game (no other NBA player has done it in each of the last two seasons) and his fifth-straight season averaging a double-double (only Dwight Howard, at seven-straight, has a longer active streak).

Overall, Randolph has averaged 20.4 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists on .495 shooting in 37.0 minutes in 156 games since being acquired by the Grizzlies from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Quentin Richardson on July 17, 2009, setting over 20 franchise records along the way.

Helping to change the pro basketball culture in the city of Memphis, Randolph has guided the Grizzlies to an 86-78 record (.524) over the past two seasons after the team finished an NBA-low 68-178 (.276) the previous three seasons.  Over that span, Randolph has totaled 656 offensive rebounds (over 60 more than any other player), while Memphis has averaged 51.4 points in the paint (five points higher than any other team).

The most decorated player in franchise history, the 29-year-old recently won his third Western Conference Player of the Week Award of the season for games played from March 28-April 3.  His first two weekly honors (Jan. 3-9, Jan. 24-30) culminated in the Western Conference Player of the Month Award for January 2011, a first for the Grizzlies franchise.  All of those honors have been career firsts.

But Randolph’s outstanding efforts have extended well beyond the court.  In recognition of his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work in the Memphis community, Randolph received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for December 2010.  Randolph partnered with a variety of organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis and MIFA’s Holiday Hope Chest, to provide gifts and brighten the holidays for children and families in need.  In addition, for the second consecutive year, he paid the utility bills for 100 Memphis families in need during the holiday season.

In his first season with the Grizzlies, Randolph averaged 20.8 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists on .488 shooting in 37.7 minutes, making his first career All-Star appearance at the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in front of 100 thousand fans at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.  Memphis improved its win total by 16 games last season, the second-highest increase in the league.

The 10-year veteran owns career marks of 17.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists on .474 shooting in 31.7 minutes in 662 games (534 starts) with the Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.

The Marion, Ind. native was selected in the first round (19th overall) in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers after helping Michigan State to the 2001 NCAA Final Four as a freshman.  He won the 2003-04 Most Improved Player Award after averaging 20.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a member of the Trail Blazers.