2013 NBA Free Agency: Memphis Grizzlies Lucky to Have Tony Allen Back

By Ryan Heckman


Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more overlooked guys on the free agent market this summer, in some respects, was Tony Allen. Not known as a flashy player with offensive explosion, Allen was looking for a contract that appreciated his biggest asset to a team — defense.

After spending three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, Allen entered free agency as one of the more bland names on the market. With guys like O.J. Mayo, Andre Iguodala and Tyreke Evans available, Allen’s name was placed more on the back burner in comparison.

There were quite a few teams that had tossed around the idea of signing Allen, but the Grizzlies were still the most interested. Knowing what they have built there with establishing the league’s top defense, Allen meant much more to them than any other team.

Memphis made somewhat of a splash, in my opinion, keeping Allen rather than signing an alternative. He is a guy, of course, that can lock down anybody at his position and force the opposition to find another option offensively. Teams literally must game plan around him because of his ability to do this.

One of the teams also interested in Allen was the Denver Nuggets, who were said to have a legitimate shot at signing the eight year veteran. After watching Iguodala opt out of the final year of his deal, Allen became one of their primary targets. Unfortunately for them, the Grizzlies were able to bring him back.

Memphis figures to stay relatively quiet the rest of the offseason, with little cap room to make an enormous move. But, that’s not necessarily a negative thing. The team they have put together is tight-knit and understands what their objective is night in and night out — defense. Allen’s signing only further serves to prove that point.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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