Correlation may be causation: Is Zach Randolph the worst NBA player of all time?

>> Thursday

Now, for the next installment in my continuing series of commentaries on trades between bad franchises no one cares about, news today is that Zach Randolph has been traded by the L.A. Clippers to the Memphis Grizzlies.

How very appropriate.

As many of you may already know, I have an intense, borderline-pathological dislike for ol' Snack-Attack Zach that's particularly inexplicable considering he's never done anything in his career to hurt my hometown Bulls. Really, my only genuine beef with the guy is the utter stylelessness of his game, which helps preserve the legacy of unwatchable post-Jordan II iso-postup tuhrri-ball.

That said, I can't help but laugh over the fact that he has once again been shipped off to an arguably worse team than the already bad one he's left.

Blazers-->Knicks-->Clippers-->Grizzlies. Throughout his career, Randolph starting for your team has proven a pretty good indicator that your team's fortunes are not so good and are probably going to stay that way.

Randolph did come off the bench for playoff teams in Portland his first two years--the second of which saw him play significantly playoff minutes. Since becoming a full-time starter in his third year, however, Randolph has played for a 50-game loser every year but one--that being his first season starting with Portland, 2003-2004, which saw the Blazers finish 41-41.

Granted, Randolph hasn't been surrounded with the best of talent in that time, but I can't help but feel he's a big part of the problem. Cherrypicking a single advanced metric to prove my point, Randolph finished the year with only 3.1 win shares--good for only third on a 19-win Clippers team. The year before last, he compiled only 2.9, which put him fourth on a 23-win Knicks team. To put it another way, he was only about as valuable to the Clippers as YCS favorite (but subpar NBA player) Steve Novak and less valuable to the Knicks than Nate Robinson.

Of course, things are unlikely to improve for the Grizzlies, which could mean Randolph will have a few more 50-loss seasons on his record by the time he leaves Memphis (if the Grizzlies don't leave there first). That leads me to wonder: Who has the alltime worst winning percentage as a starter in NBA history? Is such a stat kept? If so, I would imagine big Zach is in the running.


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