Memphis Nabs Defensive Stopper Tony Allen, Future Looks Bright For Grizz

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Memphis Nabs Defensive Stopper Tony Allen, Future Looks Bright For Grizz
Another piece of the 2008 champion squad fell off as Boston Celtics’ Tony Allen has agreed to a multiyear contract being offered by the Memphis Grizzlies. 
Allen and his agent Michael Higgins were disillusioned by the fact that Boston pushed negotiations aside to focus on bringing back Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and on signing Jermaine O’Neal.  When O’Neal was signed with a full midlevel contract worth $5.765 million, Allen decided that it was probably time to consider other options.  The best option on the table for Allen was the three-year, $10 million contract extended by the Grizzlies, to which he agreed to, according to the Grizzlies’ general manager Chris Wallace.
“All I am at liberty to say is that we have come to terms with Tony Allen,” he said, “And expect to sign a contract soon.”
Understandably, the Celtics were in dire need of a backup to Kendrick Perkins as reports of a looming Rasheed Wallace retirement surfaced.  While losing a perimeter defensive player was crucial to Boston, the team also needed to address their frontcourt issues, which was exposed in the most recent Finals series with the Los Angeles Lakers.
For the Grizzlies, they gain a strong defensive presence in Allen, known for defending the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.  However, adding Allen into their mix of young guns might cause a logjam in its roster.  With O.J. Mayo and Rudy g*y as starters, and 12th overall pick Xavier Henry expected to log in minutes of his own, Allen will likely find himself in a position wherein he will be used in discretionary situations, such as to disrupt a shooter with a hot hand.    
The Allen deal could also have been made from a proactive stance, and might signify a trade in the future.  From the Memphis’ wingmen, Mayo is the most logical choice for a trade.  Mayo, after all, has been on the trading block before.
The Grizzlies would certainly like to retain its restricted free agent Rudy g*y, signing him into a five-year, $82 million contract.  And g*y would certainly like to stay.
“I want to win, and I want to do it here.  My whole thing is to progress.  We have to make some upgrades, but I like where we’re headed,” he said. 
g*y, who averaged 19.6 points last season, is expected to start this season earning the projected maximum salary for his experience—$13.3 million.  Last October, he turned down a five-year, $50 million offer from the Grizzlies, and will now receive more money than any other team could afford to pay.  g*y is the team’s second-leading scorer behind Zach Randolph.
The arrival of Allen could take the defensive load off of g*y’s shoulders, and allow g*y to do his damage on the offensive side.  But Allen’s style of play is not exclusive to the defensive end.  He is also known for high-flying dunks and effective finishes around the basket. 
Prior to signing Allen, Memphis was expected to keep Ronnie Brewer, whom they acquired from the Utah Jazz by trading a first-round pick.  Unfortunately, Brewer went down on a season-ending injury in his first game as a Grizzly.  This made the decision easier for the Grizzlies management to let go of Brewer, draft shooting guard Xavier Henry and sign swingman Tony Allen.  
Hiring Allen is also a good business move for Memphis, as it costs less money than retaining Brewer.  More importantly, although Allen may be essentially less of an offensive weapon than Brewer, he brings to the court a high level of experience and intensity that are vital to a young team like Memphis.


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