The Clippers went outside Doc Rivers’ comfort zone by getting Danilo Gallinari, who neither played for nor against the president/coach in a playoff series.
But the Clippers might be returning to hold habits with Tony Allen, who played for Rivers on the Celtics’ 2008 championship team.
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Allen – a dogged defender, even at age 35 – would join the Clippers’ hodgepodge of players trying to keep the team competitive around Blake Griffin and without Chris Paul. Allen would be a nice defensive-minded alternative to Lou Williams at shooting guard, though it seems Doc Rivers likes Austin Rivers in that role.
The question is how Allen would get to L.A.
Receiving Gallinari in a sign-and-trade hard-capped the Clippers, but they still have about $8.7 million in wiggle room beyond just rounding out the roster with minimum players. L.A. has the mid-level exception and a $7,273,631 trade exception at its disposal.
The $8,406,000 mid-level exception would likely be more than enough for Allen, but there are advantages to getting him in a sign-and-trade. Namely, it would allow the Clippers to use the mid-level exception on someone else in addition.
The Clippers might like to unload salary if acquiring Allen, but there’s no reason for that to be done with with the Grizzlies rather than any other team. That $7,273,631 trade exception would probably do the trick in a sign-and-trade. Considering how much Allen has meant to the franchise, Memphis – ready to move on – might just sign-and-trade him into the Clippers’ trade exception just to gain its own trade exception and nothing more.
Allen would have to sign a three-year-deal to be signed-and-traded, but only the first year must be guaranteed. He probably wouldn’t mind the Clippers controlling his future at a reasonable salary, especially because he might not have bigger multi-year-guarantee alternatives from other teams at his age.