Tony Allen

Pelicans Sign Tony Allen To One-Year Deal

SEPTEMBER 15: The Pelicans have officially signed Allen, announcing their deal today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 11: The Pelicans are finalizing a one-year contract with veteran swingman Tony Allen, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.

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 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.

New Orleans needed another small forward after Solomon Hill suffered a torn hamstring, an injury that is expected to sideline him for most of the upcoming season.

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.

Pelicans Notes: Cunningham, Crawford, Allen, Luxury Tax

The Pelicans aren’t finished with roster moves after the reported additions of Tony Allen and Perry Jones, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Dante Cunningham, who declined his player option in April, remains a possibility, along with other players who can defend both forward positions.

The 30-year-old Cunningham spent the past three seasons in New Orleans, serving as a part-time starter. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 66 games last year, 35 in the starting lineup. Cunningham opted out of a $3.1MM salary for 2017/18, but may have to settle for less now that training camps are just two weeks away.

There’s more today out of New Orleans:

  • With significant roster turnover during the past two seasons, the Pelicans are focused on building team chemistry before the start of camp, writes Jim Eichenhofer of One of the organizers of a voluntary team gathering last month at the University of Kentucky was newly signed point guard Rajon Rondo, who got the idea from Kevin Garnett in Boston. “One of the things [Rondo] brings to a team is he makes players understand that we are in this together,” said Jordan Crawford, who joined the Pelicans in March. “You might think of it as a defiant attitude or something like that, but it’s really [having the perspective] that the coaches are part of this team, but they’re not going to be on the court with us.”
  • Allen personified the “Grit and Grind” era in Memphis and should bring the same toughness to New Orleans, writes Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Herrington recounts some of the defensive specialist’s highlights with the Grizzlies and says games this year won’t be the same without him.
  • The expected signing of Allen leaves the Pelicans $3.27MM under the luxury tax and $3.85MM away from a hard cap, according to Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. The team is up to 13 fully guaranteed contracts, with Crawford, who has a $250K guarantee, expected to fill another roster spot. The additions of Allen and Jones give New Orleans 17 players for camp, with three slots still open.

Southwest Notes: Noel, Green, Allen, Nene

By accepting a $4.1MM qualifying offer, Mavericks center Nerlens Noel has created a financial drama that will last through the season, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. He decided to take the one-year deal after consulting with his new agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, whom Noel just hired this week. It was an unexpected end to negotiations for the third-year big man, who reportedly turned down a four-year, $70MM offer earlier this summer.

Noel is betting that he can get something close to the max as an unrestricted free agent next year, but Townsend notes that he is also taking a serious risk after missing the entire 2013/14 season after knee ligament surgery. He has played 75, 67 and 51 in the three seasons since then. By refusing the original offer, Noel cost himself about $11.5MM this season and will need a new deal starting at about $20MM to make up the difference.

There’s more news from the Southwest Division:
  • Noel’s decision gives the Mavericks about $12MM in unexpected cap space, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN [insider account]. Only the Bulls and Sixers have more, although the Suns could surpass Dallas if Alex Len also accepts a qualifying offer. The Mavericks will be in position to help facilitate trades and acquire assets throughout the season. They may also benefit next summer from Noel’s small cap hold, which is estimated at about $8MM. Noel finished just one start short of the cutoff for “starter criteria,” which is 41 starts or 2,000 minutes in the previous season. His qualifying offer would have been $5.85MM if he had met that standard.
  • The Grizzlies are willing to go above the $2.8MM qualifying offer to re-sign restricted free agent JaMychal Green, but won’t meet the price he wants, according to Chris Harrington of The Commercial Appeal. He adds that Tony Allen won’t be returning to Memphis, even after free agent addition Ben McLemore suffered a broken foot. Harrington thinks a return to Boston would be the best move for Allen.
  • Memphis still has one two-way contract remaining, and Harrington advocates giving it to someone with professional experience rather than an undrafted rookie. His choice is 23-year-old Vince Hunter, a 6’8″ power forward who played with the Grizzlies’ summer league team and has experience in the G League and overseas.
  • After re-signing with the Rockets this summer, veteran center Nene is eager to see new addition Chris Paul join James Harden in the backcourt, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype“It will be an unbelievable experience to play with James and Chris,” he said. “James is the best offensive player in the game and Chris is an amazing ball player as well. They can score from anywhere on the court and they both have a basketball IQ that’s off the charts.”

Five Notable Wings Still Available In Free Agency

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 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.

Ian Clark Wants More Than Minimum; Wolves Still Interested

Free agent Ian Clark is still hoping for more than the minimum salary, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.

The Timberwolves are interested in signing the fourth-year guard shooting guard, who spent the past two seasons in Golden State. Tony Allen, formerly of the Grizzlies, remains another free agent possibility for Minnesota.

Clark has received multiple minimum-salary offers but is holding out for something better, according to Wolfson. The Wolves are operating just under the cap and already used their $4.3MM room mid-level exception on Jamal Crawford.

Clark appeared in 77 games for the Warriors last season, averaging 6.8 points per night and shooting a career-best 37% from 3-point range. He is seeking a raise from his 2016/17 salary of a little more than $1.015MM.

FA Rumors: Muhammad, Farmar, Mbah a Moute, Allen

The Hawks, Nets, Bucks, Knicks and Magic have all expressed interest in swingman Shabazz Muhammad, according to Marc J. Spears of (Twitter links). The Bulls are on that list as well, tweets Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. Muhammad became an unrestricted free agent last week when Minnesota pulled his qualifying offer to create enough cap room to sign Taj Gibson. He has been with the Wolves for all four of his NBA seasons and averaged 9.9 points in 78 games last year.

There’s more tonight on the free agent front:

  • Jordan Farmar is hoping to return to the NBA and spoke to Lakers coach Luke Walton today about a possible opportunity, Kennedy relays (Twitter link). The 30-year-old point guard played two games for the Kings in November of last season.
  • The Raptors have talked about making a play for former Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute, reports Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet (Twitter link).
  • The Clippers and Timberwolves are both considering Tony Allen, according to Tim MacMahon of (Twitter link). Coaches Doc Rivers in L.A. and Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota have connections with Allen from their time with the Celtics.
  • Veteran point guard Beno Udrih is talking to several teams in Las Vegas, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Now 35, Udrih believes he can play for several more years. He got into 39 games with the Pistons last season.
  • Former Baylor standout Royce O’Neale is considering several NBA offers, according to Kyler (Twitter link). The 24-year-old forward went undrafted in 2015 and has been playing in Lithuania, but he has an NBA opt-out in his contract through July 20th.

Cavaliers Notes: Crawford, Osman, Lue, Green

The Cavaliers weren’t able to get into a bidding war for Jamal Crawford because they need to keep enough money to sign Cedi Osman, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland is well over the cap for the upcoming season and wasn’t willing to give Crawford its entire $5.192MM taxpayer mid-level exception. The Cavs will need at least $816K to sign Osman, who has a $1MM buyout with his Turkish team. Crawford will reportedly sign a two-year, $8.9MM deal with the Timberwolves once he clears waivers. Vardon wrote on Friday that the Cavaliers were the favorites to land Crawford, but the Osman negotiations apparently changed that situation.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • Coach Tyronn Lue stayed out of negotiations involving former GM David Griffin and front office recruit Chauncey Billups, Vardon writes in a separate piece. “You know how it affects me, he gave me my job,” was Lue’s only response to a question about Griffin at Friday’s summer league game. It was Griffin’s decision to fire David Blatt and replace him with Lue midway through the 2015/16 championship season. A few months after that title, Griffin rewarded Lue with a five-year, $35MM contract. Griffin could have been replaced by Billups, a close friend of Lue, but he turned down a below-market offer reported at $2MM per year. “Any time you get the chance to advance, be the president and GM, it’s always something great,” Lue said. “I know it’s something he always wanted to do. But I just kind of stayed out of the situation because I was so close to Griff, so close to Chauncey, so I didn’t want anything to do with it.”
  • The Cavs don’t seem worried about Jeff Green‘s drop in production last season, writes Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. They signed the 10-year veteran to a one-year, $2.3MM contract on Friday, with ESPN reporting that LeBron James had “active conversations” with Green before the deal was reached. Green has been with four teams in the past three seasons, and averaged just 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds with the Magic last year, the lowest figures of his career in both categories.
  • Cleveland is limited is what it can offer, but Chris Fedor of put together a list of seven free agents who might be willing to take a little less to join a team that has been to three straight finals. He names Thabo Sefolosha, Tony Allen, Gerald Henderson, Luc Mbah a Moute, C.J. Miles, Rodney Stuckey and Dewayne Dedmon.

Clippers, Grizzlies Discuss Tony Allen Sign-And-Trade

The Clippers have engaged the Grizzlies in discussions about a possible sign-and-trade deal involving Tony Allen, reports David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link). As Aldridge observes, Los Angeles is in the market for help on the wing after losing J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford this week.

The Clippers’ roster remains somewhat in flux, with several moving parts involved in this week’s transactions, but the most logical outgoing piece in a sign-and-trade for Allen would probably be Wesley Johnson, who is earning $5.88MM in 2017/18 and has a player option worth $6MM+ for the following season. If Johnson were included in a deal with the Grizzlies, the Clippers would likely need to attach some form of draft-pick compensation as incentive for Memphis.

The Clippers will already be hard-capped at $125.266MM as a result of their tentative sign-and-trade deal for Danilo Gallinari, and completing a sign-and-trade for Allen would allow L.A. to hang onto its mid-level exception. In a hypothetical deal, Allen’s contract would have to run at least three seasons, though not all those years would have to be guaranteed.

Allen, 35, is coming off his 13th NBA season, and has spent the last seven of those years in Memphis. His production has remained remarkably consistent during that seven-year stretch — he has never averaged fewer than 8.4 PPG or more than 9.8 PPG, and continues to provide the club with solid defense on the wing, earning a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team last month.

We heard back in April that Allen wasn’t looking to “break the bank” in free agency, which suggested it may be possible for the Grizzlies to get him back on a hometown discount. However, a June report indicated that Memphis may only be open to offering the minimum, and it’s not clear if the veteran swingman is willing to take that much of a pay cut.

Green, Gobert Headline 2016/17 NBA All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2016/17 season, and Defensive Player of the Year finalists Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert, and Kawhi Leonard all earned a place on the First Team. Green led the way with 99 First Team votes, while Gobert received 97 votes for a spot on the First Team.

Here are the full rosters for the NBA’s All-Defensive teams:

First Team:

Second Team:

Avery Bradley (Celtics), Klay Thompson (Warriors), and John Wall (Wizards) were among the other players receiving votes who just missed out on an All-Defensive spot.

As Bobby Marks of The Vertical observes (via Twitter), Gobert’s cap hit for the 2017/18 season will now increase by $500K to $21.9MM based on his spot on the All-Defensive First Team.

Grizzlies Plan Minimum Offer For Tony Allen?

The Grizzlies aren’t prepared to offer veteran guard Tony Allen more than the veteran’s minimum this summer, tweets Peter Edmiston of WHBQ 87.7 in Memphis. His source is Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal, who was a guest on the radio show.

Allen, 35, has spent the past seven years in Memphis, where he has developed a reputation as one of the league’s best defenders. He appeared in 71 games this season, starting 66, and contributed 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per night.

Allen just completed a four-year deal that paid him $20MM and could get offers well above the veteran’s minimum on the open market. If the report is true, he will have to decide whether he is willing to take a significant discount to remain with the Grizzlies.

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