The Grizzlies are open to trading veteran shooting guard Tony Allen, according to Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal, who says that rival teams are gauging interest and Memphis is listening. The shutdown defender would be a valuable addition to any NBA team looking to lock down the league’s top perimeter threats so it comes as no surprise that teams are inquiring on him.
The 34-year-old comes with a cap-friendly $5.5MM contract expiring this year and a defensive résumé that puts him in a class of his own. In five of the past six seasons, Allen has been named to an All-Defensive Team, most recently to the Second Team in 2016 and earlier this year, Kobe Bryant referred to the pesky two-guard as the “best defender he ever faced.”
As Chris Crouse explained for Hoops Rumors last week, the traditionally defensive-minded Grizzlies have had success of late reverting back to their old identity. Moving their most decorated perimeter stopper seems counter-intuitive to that, but more in line with their offseason decision to embrace a faster playing style.
Allen has played a significant role in Memphis’ success over the course of the past seven seasons after playing the first six years of his career with the Celtics. Through 21 games in 2016/17, he has averaged 10.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in just under 27 minutes.