Why the Detroit Pistons Need to Sign Tony Allen

By Brian Rzeppa
Tony Allen memphis Grizzlies
Spruce Derden – USA Today Sports Images

If you were to look at my other article, you would see that the Detroit Pistons of my plan would be a little bit weak on the defensive side of the ball. With Trey Burke running the point and Brandon Knight playing shooting guard, the Pistons would be outsized by just about every opponent in the NBA. This could be fixed by having my recommended free agent pick-up, Martell Webster, play in the shooting guard slot where he is a great defender. In turn, though, this would force Kyle Singler into starter’s minutes once again where he was a lackluster defender at best at the small forward slot.

Those problems could be solved in just one quick move: signing free agent guard Tony Allen. Allen is known as one of the premier defensive players in the game, garnering the most votes for First Team All-Defense this past season and being the highest rated guard as far as Defensive Rating goes coming in fourth overall. In fact, Allen was one of only two guards in the top 20 for Defensive Rating, being joined by teammate Mike Conley.

The Pistons would not have to break the bank for Allen, either. His 2012-2013 salary was just $3.15 million, and even with a modest pay raise to around $4 or $5 million a year over three or four years, the Pistons would still have more than enough money to make other moves in free agency.

If we’re still going along with my plan, the Pistons would add Allen to a team that has already added Burke, Webster, and Kevin Love. This may bring about questions of what to do with former first round pick Brandon Knight. The answer to that is quite simple, actually. Knight would play a role similar to what O.J. Mayo played when he was with the Memphis Grizzlies alongside Allen. Allen would start the games and cover the best offensive player while he was in, and then Mayo would relieve him and lead the second team as a scorer. Knight would be more than capable of being a viable scoring threat off the bench, and it would give the Pistons more time to figure out if they want him to play point guard or shooting guard or even if he is a fit with the team moving forward.

With the Pistons being in the Eastern Conference, they are going to have to be able to compete with the Miami Heat if they have any aspirations of being a championship contender, which is what all teams hope for. With a shrewd move like signing Allen, they would at least be able to slow down the Heat’s seemingly unstoppable offensive attack. Allen is more than capable of guarding LeBron James as he has done so in the past, and Webster could guard the aging Dwyane Wade, or vise versa. Down low, the Pistons’ Twin Towers of Kevin Love, or even if they kept Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond could hold their own against Chris Bosh. I am not saying that they would be able to beat Miami in a seven game series because not many teams can, but they would definitely be able to hold their own.

While signing Allen wouldn’t be the flashy move that signing a Josh Smith or Chris Paul type player would be, he would add something that the team hasn’t seen in years and really needs to get back to – hard-nosed defense. With the other moves I have previously suggested, this Pistons team could really surprise a lot of people.

Let me know what you think of the Pistons signing Allen, or any of the other moves I suggested, in the comments section below or on Twitter!

Thanks for reading.

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