SEPTEMBER 15: The Pelicans have officially signed Allen, announcing their deal today in a press release.
Barring a late breakdown in negotiations, this ends a prolonged free agent odyssey for the 35-year-old defensive stalwart. Early in the process, the Clippers were reportedly interested in working out a sign-and-trade deal for Allen until their roster got overloaded with newcomers. The Timberwolves were also interested, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reported.
It was apparent that the Grizzlies were moving on from Allen when one of the free agents they signed, shooting guard Ben McLemore, broke his foot and they still didn’t show any serious interest in Allen.
Allen has only played for two teams in his NBA career. He spent his first six seasons with the Celtics before joining Memphis for the 2010/11 season. He was a rotation player for the Grizzlies over the past seven seasons and started 66 games for them last year. Overall, he appeared in 71 games and averaged 9.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 1.6 SPG in 27.0 MPG. He’s a career 28% shooter from long range, which has made him an increasing offensive liability in a league that has become heavily reliant on 3-point shooting.
Allen should still see quite a bit of action at both small forward and shooting guard, where Jrue Holiday is expected to start with the addition of point guard Rajon Rondo. With the offensive firepower provided by Holiday, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans can afford to have a defensive specialist at the wing spot.
As for the terms of Allen’s one-year deal, those haven’t yet been reported, but the Pelicans still have their bi-annual exception ($3.29MM) available and have a bit more breathing room below the luxury tax line after trading Quincy Pondexter earlier this month.