One of the Memphis Grizzlies’ top priorities this offseason was to bring back their defensive stud guard Tony Allen. Despite interest from other teams, they were able to get him back on a four-year, $20 million deal that was officially announced this week.
The question is, for someone who doesn’t offer too much offensively, did the Grizzlies overpay the veteran guard who will average $5 million per year in his new contract?
Let’s take a closer look at the facts.
Over the last three years, Allen’s shooting percentages have gone down quite a bit, going from 51 percent in 2010-2011 down to 44.5 percent last season. His free throw shooting has also been pretty poor, as he clocked in around 71 percent in 2012 — less than desirable for a shooting guard.
He doesn’t do a whole lot on offense, averaging about nine points per game, making him more of a last-ditch effort type of option on that side of the ball.
However, when analyzing his career, we see that no matter what he does offensively every year, he is always labeled as one of the premier defenders in the league. He’ll get you a steal or two every single game while also being pretty active on the boards for his size.
Being able to guard a wide variety of players, even being a bit taller than him, is a huge strength. His tenacity on the defensive side of the ball is almost suffocating for most of his opponents — he never lets up.
Allen received the most votes for the NBA All Defensive First Team this past season, and has been in the top six in Defensive Player of the Year voting for three years straight. On a team like Memphis where they are focused first and foremost on defense, Allen is a bargain at $5 million per season.
Think about it this way. Martell Webster is going to make $6 million per season over the next four years. Need I say more? That doesn’t need a whole lot of explaining.
When looking at what he brings to the table, Allen absolutely came back on a relatively cheap deal and the Grizzlies should be thrilled he did so. He has been a valuable defender in the NBA for quite some time, and Memphis knows that all too well.