- Marc Stein, ESPN Senior Writer
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The Memphis Grizzlies are hopeful of coming to terms on a contract extension with former All-Star forward Zach Randolph before free agency starts July 1, according to sources close to the situation.
Randolph must decide by June 30 whether to opt out of the final season of his contract, which is valued at $16.5 million, but sources told ESPN.com that the Grizzlies are working to hammer out the specifics of an extension with Randolph before the 32-year-old is exposed to other potential bidders.
If the Grizzlies are intent on lowering Randolph's salary starting next season, such a deal would have to wait until after July 1 to be completed and require Randolph to opt out, become a free agent and sign a new long-term deal at a reduced rate. If the Grizzlies are prepared to wait until the 2015-16 season for Randolph's salary to be reduced, they could extend him for up to three years at lowered terms after he opts in for 2014-15 at the $16.5 million.
101dMarc Stein and Mike Mazzeo