Tony Allen is The Grindfather. There is no grit n’ grind without Allen’s lockdown perimeter defense. He is part of the Memphis Grizzlies’ culture, even as his skills have faded some (he’s still a quality defender).
However, if he wants to stay in Memphis, he’s going to have to take a pay cut. A serious pay cut.
Like maybe the league minimum, according to Ronald Tillery, the Grizzlies beat writer for the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Would Allen take that little?
“I don’t want to go nowhere,” Allen told NBC Sports back in February. “I want to be in Memphis. I don’t need a lot. But I need to be taken care of. But my heart is in Memphis.”
Not sure he will see the league minimum as “taken care of.”
The Grizzles are in a tough spot this offseason. With max contracts on the books for Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, they are almost capped out and about $30 million give-or-take from a luxury tax line ownership does not want to cross with this group. In that space, they need to re-sign restricted free agent JaMychal Green (and they should), pay Zach Randolph and Allen, and round out the roster. It’s not really much room, and Randolph and Allen are going to have to take pay cuts to keep this team together.
A change in eras is coming eventually to Memphis, and it feels like the first domino may fall this summer.