Allen, known as “The Grindfather,” will take his talents to New Orleans. That’s an odd fit for a team that needs perimeter shooting.
After spending the past seven seasons helping build the Memphis Grizzlies into the grittiest team in the NBA, veteran shooting guard Tony Allen will sign a one-year, $2.3 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. Allen’s departure, coupled with Zach Randolph’s two-year deal with the Sacramento Kings, marks the end of the “Grit ’N’ Grind” era in Memphis.
How Allen fits with the Pelicans
Even at age 35, Allen is one of the best perimeter defenders the NBA has to offer. He projects to add bench depth and veteran wisdom at the guard spot.
The Pelicans, however, have bigger issues, and a lack of perimeter shooting is chief among them. Allen averaged 9.1 points on 27.8 percent three-point shooting for the Grizzlies last season. Alongside Rajon Rondo (37.6 percent on limited three-point attempts) or Jrue Holiday (35.6 percent from downtown), the Pelicans could find trouble creating space for their two dominant centers, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
Still, Allen is a competitor, and the Pelicans have a lone goal of making the playoffs this season. A team with Allen is better than a team without him. And while his perimeter shooting struggles seem to make for a bad fit, it’s up to head coach Alvin Gentry to figure out how best to utilize his newest, grittiest player.
Here’s what our friends at Grizzly Bear Blues had to say
Grizz Nation knew this moment was inevitable for awhile now, but no one wanted to see it happen. The Grindfather is officially going to the next chapter of his career.
Tony Allen was a major part of the tough, gritty culture of Memphis basketball. TA brought the Grit N Grind slogan to the city of Memphis that will be ingrained with the Grizzlies forever. He brought this identity to the team that translated to many years of success.