Despite the Grizzlies place in the thick of their Western Conference Finals series against the Spurs, their perimeter defensive specialist, Tony Allen, will be an unrestricted free agent this July.
Allen spoke with Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.com yesterday about the blue collar "Grit and Grind" Grizzlies, their blue collar Memphis fans, and--towards the end of the piece--his impending free agency. Said Allen:
"I don't even understand the business side. When July hits, somebody is going to have to sit me down and explain it. All I know is I'm a Grizzly and I believe I'm going to be a Grizzly when it's over with.
"I bleed blue. I think they going to keep me. But if they don't, I understand.
"I don't even think about it now. I just play. I love being in Memphis. I love the city. Hopefully I stay here. It feels like home."
Speaking of Allen's Grizzlies, here are some more notes from around the Western Conference:
WEDNESDAY, 2:02pm: The Grizzlies have officially signed Greene, according to a team release.
TUESDAY, 12:14pm: After agreeing to sign Willie Reed and waiving Dexter Pittman on the weekend, the Grizzlies are expected to make one more roster move before the regular season ends, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Tillery tweets that the team will likely sign free agent forward Donte Greene.
Greene, 25, had been set to sign with the Nets last August before a fractured ankle sidelined him for several months, voiding his agreement with Brooklyn. Upon getting healthy, he reportedly drew NBA interest, but failed to land a contract. Last we heard, Greene was preparing to join a team in Puerto Rico earlier this month.
Like Reed's deal with the Grizzlies, Greene's contract is expected to include a non-guaranteed option for 2013/14, according to Tillery (Twitter link). That makes sense, since I would guess the club is getting a headstart on its Summer League squad and training camp roster for next season, rather than expecting Reed and Greene to play a role in this spring's playoff run.
Having waived Pittman, the Grizzlies won't need to make any further roster moves to clear room. Adding both Reed and Greene would give the team the maximum 15 players.
As we prepare for a busy 12-game evening slate, let's check out a few Friday afternoon odds and ends from around the Association:
Without Bird or even Early Bird rights, The Nets could be in a tricky situation if they want to re-sign Andray Blatche, whom Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors ranked among the best one-year contract signings this season. Blatche indicated to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that he might make it easy on Brooklyn, since he'll still be drawing paychecks from his amnestied contract with the Wizards. "I’m very aware (of my unique situation)," Blatche said. "That’s what I’m saying. Everybody is probably thinking I’m looking to get that big check. I’m not. Not at all. I’m looking at what’s best for me."
Here's more from around the league on the one-year anniversary of the 2012 trade deadline:
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Earlier today, we heard that the Sixers are a good bet to stand pat at this year's deadline, and given how their last trade turned out, perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise. One player acquired by the 76ers in the deal, Jason Richardson, underwent successful surgery on his left knee this morning, according to a team release. Meanwhile, the centerpiece, Andrew Bynum, told reporters today that he still intends to play for Philadelphia this season, though it won't happen until at least March.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
Donte Greene was close to signing a contract with the Nets back in August when he suffered an ankle fracture during a workout, postponing his 2012/13 debut. Now, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, Greene has recovered from the injury, and is drawing interest from a number of teams.
Kennedy reports that Greene will begin working out for clubs on January 11th, with the Nets, Spurs, Timberwolves, Hornets, Bulls, and Rockets among his potential suitors. Greene's summer deal with the Nets was expected to be for the minimum salary, so even teams with no cap space or exception money should be in play for the former King. According to Kennedy, Greene will work out for teams for a week or two and, if all goes as planned, sign somewhere shortly thereafter.
Greene, 24, spent the first four seasons of his NBA career in Sacramento, averaging 6.1 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 16.8 minutes per contest. The former 28th overall pick had his best season in 2009/10, scoring 8.5 PPG on 44.1% shooting and making 50 starts for the Kings.
The Timberwolves have been particularly hard hit by injuries this season. They entered the year knowing Ricky Rubio would still need time to recovery from his knee injury last March, and Kevin Love missed the first nine games of the season with a broken hand. Chase Budinger is slated to miss three months because of knee surgery, and the team waived Josh Howard this week after he tore his ACL. There's yet more news on the team's injury front, as we detail here along with other Wolves rumors.
6:45pm: Luchey says he expects Greene to become a Net, but just when that happens depends on the results of an MRI on Greene's ankle, reports Fred Kerber of the New York Post.
AUGUST 29TH, 4:12pm: Agent Chris Luchey tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that Greene suffered an ankle fracture while working out in Charlotte over the weekend (Twitter link). Greene's deal with the Nets is now on hold as he awaits surgery on the ankle, Luchey adds (Twitter link). The forward is still hopeful of signing with the Nets after it's determined how much time he'll miss (Twitter link).
AUGUST 23RD, 1:09pm: The deal is non-guaranteed and is just an invitation to camp, tweets Alex Raskin of HoopsWorld. Still, Greene appears to have a decent chance of making the opening-night roster, as Sam Amick of SI.com hears the Nets have "high hopes" for him (Sulia link).
11:17am: The Nets have reached an agreement in principle with unrestricted free agent Donte Greene, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). With no cap space or exceptions available, the Nets figure to sign Greene for the minimum salary, which would be about $915K for the former King.
A first round pick in 2008, Greene started 50 games in 2009/10 for the Kings, but has seen his minutes decline each year since then. This past season, he averaged just 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game for Sacramento, though he did record a career-high 11.8 PER. The Kings elected not to extend the 6'11" forward a qualifying offer back in June, which made him an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Earlier in August, Greene indicated that he was likely to sign with the Knicks, Pacers, or Bulls, so his decision to head to Brooklyn is a little unexpected. The 24-year-old will add more depth to a Nets' frontcourt that includes Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Mirza Teletovic, and Reggie Evans.
All non-Dwight Howard NBA news is something of an afterthought today, as we wait to see if the four teams involved in Howard trade talks will finally officially consummate a deal, having reached a tentative agreement last night. As we wait, let's round up a few other Friday odds and ends from around the NBA....