While the Grit and Grind Era will always represent a special time in Memphis, the Grizzlies have moved on and Tony Allen appears to be a casualty of the transition. Fellow grinder Zach Randolph was able to secure a two-year, $24MM with the Kings, but Allen hasn’t been able to land a lucrative deal of his own.
Early in free agency, the Clippers were reportedly interested in working out a sign-and-trade deal for Allen, but after making several additions, Los Angeles isn’t in a position to offer much more than a minimum salary arrangement. The Wolves also had interested in the swingman, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reported several weeks ago, though we haven’t heard much on Allen joining either of those clubs since.
Allen previously indicated that he wasn’t looking to break the bank in free agency. He also said he’ll be a Memphian for life. It’s possible he returns to the Grizzlies on a minimum salary deal, something they may have planned for him. However, it remains to be seen whether taking a hometown discount and taking the minimum are the same in Allen’s eyes.
At age 35, Allen isn’t going to learn how to shoot at a league-average level, something that becomes more of an issue during the NBA’s second season. He remains one of the better perimeter defenders in the league and he was a useful rotation player last season.
The Grizzlies could use a swingman to help solidify their rotation; so could the Wolves, Clippers, Mavericks, and Pacers. Allen should be able to help out a team in need of wing depth, though he’s not the only option on the market. Here are some other notable options available:
- Anthony Morrow— Shooting is as important as its ever been in the NBA, which bodes well for Morrow should he find his three-point shot again. He’s a career 41.7% shooter from behind the arc, but he shot under 31% last season. Morrow, who turns 32 in September, will likely see another opportunity in the league. However, his flaws on the defensive end may force him to wait until closer to training camp to find a home.
- Gerald Green — Green saw some minutes for the Celtics on the backend of their rotation last season before seeing a slightly larger role in the postseason. It’s plausible to think that his work in the NBA’s second season would boost his stock, but we haven’t heard much about him garnering much interest on the market. The 31-year-old has enough left in the tank to help a team in need of wing depth, though he’s another athlete who will likely have to play the waiting game.
- Brandon Rush — Several teams have reportedly checked in with Rush, including the Mavericks, Heat, and Pacers. Dallas makes the most sense for the 32-year-old, as I recently detailed.
- Shabazz Muhammad — Muhammad may be the most talented wing left on the free agent market. The Wolves pulled his qualifying offer earlier in the month, which rendered him to unrestricted free agency and the Hawks, Nets, Bucks, Knicks, Bulls, and Magic all were reportedly interested in the swingman. Yet, the UCLA product remains unsigned. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal and what kind of role Muhammad lands. It’ll also be interesting to see if the 24-year-old can expand his game beyond scoring, as he took 598 shots last season but dished out just 35 assists.