Earlier today, we heard that the Heat intended to aggressively pursue Ray Allen when free agency begins late tonight. However, Miami isn't the only team with Allen atop its wish list. Sources familiar with the Grizzlies' plans tells Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal that Memphis will go hard after Allen, and intends to offer him the team's full $5MM mid-level exception.
According to Tillery, the Grizzlies are eyeing backcourt help, and intend to come away with an accomplished shooter or point guard in free agency. In addition to Allen, Memphis is also expected to target Andre Miller, Randy Foye, and Kirk Hinrich, among others.
Despite previously expressing a desire not to pass the luxury tax threshold, it seems owner Michael Heisley has loosened the reins a little with a prospective buyer for the franchise in place. Heisley has given GM Chris Wallace permission to use the full mid-level and enter the tax, says Tillery. Of course, the team will have to manage its cap situation carefully, since clubs that use the full $5MM mid-level aren't allowed to cross the "tax apron" (about $74MM) at any point in the season, and are essentially hard-capped.
According to Tillery, the team also wants to re-sign Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur. With over $62MM+ already guaranteed in 2012/13 salaries, even before considering Speights, Arthur, and another $5MM player, it's hard to see how the Grizz will be able to fit everyone in, unless they make a trade or two.