The Minnesota Timberwolves again failed to reach the playoffs this season, with a 31-51 record and a last place finish in the Northwest Division. The most glaring weakness on the roster is the lack of capable wing players, particularly at shooting guard, and their three-point shooting percentage (30.5 percent-last in the NBA) and opponent’s three-point percentage (36.9 percent-23rd in the league) seem to reflect that the best.
The Memphis Grizzlies are on the brink of being eliminated from the postseason, as they face a 3-0 deficit to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. Whenever Memphis’s run comes to an end, the status of coach Lionel Hollins will become a hot topic, and the fact swingman Tony Allen is slated to become an unrestricted free agent will be a primary concern for the team as well. For what it’s worth, Allen has said he expects the Grizzlies to keep him, but he is likely to be highly sought after on the free agent market.
Allen’s calling card is defense, and he has been named to the league’s All-Defensive First Team in each of the last two seasons. He is typically asked to guard the opposition’s top perimeter scorer, and his work against Kevin Durant in the second round of this year’s playoffs was noteworthy as the Grizzlies took down the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But Allen does not offer a lot offensively, as he averaged just 8.9 points per game during this past regular season on just over eight shot attempts per game. For his career Allen is averaging 8.0 points per game, so he is unlikely to suddenly become a prolific offensive player at age 31.
Allen is sure to get a nice contract from someone this summer, but to me he is not much more than a nice piece on a championship contending team. The Timberwolves are obviously not at that point right now, so president of basketball operations Flip Saunders needs to have players with more to offer on both ends of the floor on his radar as he looks to add talent to the roster.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.