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According to multiple sources, the Grizzlies have been in talks with Ray Allen about bringing the free agent sharpshooter to Beale Street. Rumors have flown about the length and size of the contract, but that’s a secondary concern as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think they should grossly overpay for him, but given their limitations in what they could sign him to, that’s not really an issue. Whether it’s the full mid-level exception (MLE) or something smaller, 2 years or 3 years, that’s not as important to me as how the future Hall of Famer would fit in on this squad.

What does Ray Allen do? Why…he shoots threes. Ray Allen ranked in the top 5 in 3-pointers made and percentage this past season. What do the Grizzlies need? Why…they need a consistent perimeter threat.

Match made in heaven? Could be. Let’s look at what the rest of the roster will likely be in order to figure out how Ray-Ray would fit in.

Grizzlies’ Free Agents
Marreese Speights (Restricted)
Darrell Arthur (Restricted)
O.J. Mayo (Unrestricted)
Hamed Haddadi (Unrestricted)
Gilbert Arenas (Unrestricted)
Lester Hudson (Unrestricted)

The Grizzlies made the qualifying offer (QO) to Mo and DA, ensuring their ability to match any offer they might get from another team. They did not do that with Mayo though, essentially assuring that he won’t be playing for Memphis next year, although the possibility of a sign-and-trade does still exist. Hamed Haddadi might be back on a small contract. Arenas and Hudson are probably both gone. That leaves us with a roster that looks like this:
PG: Mike Conley, Jeremy Pargo, Josh Selby, Tony Wroten
SG: Tony Allen
SF: Rudy Gay, Quincy Pondexter
PF: Zach Randolph, Marreese Speights/Darrell Arthur, Dante Cunningham
C: Marc Gasol

That makes ten players under contract, with at least one of the two RFA PF/C’s likely to return as well. So where is the hole at? If you said Shooting Guard, then you are correct. Let’s assume that the team rolls out the same starting lineup of Conley/Allen/Gay/Randolph/Gasol next season. That leaves the primary bench players as Pondexter, Speights/Arthur, Cunningham, and whomever comes out of the locked room between Pargo, Selby, and Wroten. (This locked room PG battle reference comes to you courtesy of HPTMatt’s laughter.) So, they are lacking a backcourt scorer in that mix. No more Mayo = no more perimeter threat.

Enter Ray Allen.

Let’s talk about Ray Allen. Ray Allen is the consummate professional. He understands his role, rarely ever tries to do too much, and is the kind of on-court leader that other players respect. He is in the twilight of his career, now preparing to enter his 17th season in the league. He’s not as quick as he once was, although he is still one of the most physically fit players due to his incredible work ethic and dedication to practice.

His scoring of 14.2 ppg was his second lowest output of his entire career. Yet…that’s still better than Mayo’s scoring average was. Nearly half of his field goal attempts were three-pointers, which he hit at a 45.3% clip (Mayo – 36.4%). He still hits better than 90% of his free throws, too. In addition to that, Ray Allen brings two things that you cannot measure or put a price on: a championship lineage and veteran leadership.

What changed this team two years ago? Tony Allen. Grit & Grind was born on the blood, sweat, and tears of that particular junkyard dog. Who better to bring in to push this team one rung higher on the ladder of success than TA’s former Celtic teammate? A guy who just so happens to fit every need the Grizzlies currently have for a 6th man.

If they sign Ray Allen, and then re-sign either Speights or Arthur (or both) and bring in another big man to fill out the roster if only one is re-signed, Memphis could be looking at their most balanced roster ever. If either Josh Selby or Tony Wroten prove to be able to handle backup PG duties, then this team could do even better than it has the past two seasons. That’s quite a bit to wrap one’s head around, given that this team was a dark horse pick by many to make the Finals last year.

Ray Allen could be the missing piece that makes the Memphis Grizzlies the team to beat in the Western Conference next season.

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32 Responses to Ray Allen To Sign With Grizzlies?

  1. HPTMattNo Gravatar says:

    Ahhhhhh, the locked room of PG’s….can we bring back Javaris and Kyle and make it like a ten-man battle royale with, maybe, JWill as the referee??? hahaha…nice article!

  2. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Allen would indeed be a great pickup . . .

    The question is, can anyone — particularly Lionel Hollins & Ray Allen — see Tony Allen starting ahead of Ray Allen?

    I don’t even think Tony Allen would go for that . . .

  3. donNo Gravatar says:

    Ray Allen, actually considering Memphis Grizzlies? I doubt it.

  4. CamNo Gravatar says:

    He’s not coming to Memphis if he’s the sixth man..

    You can take that to the bank..

  5. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    This soundsike another Eddie Jones/Iverson attempt.
    Why not go after Nick young. Allen will be injured or disgruntled as a grizz.

  6. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    Last year when the Trade deadline was about up, Ray Allen got a call from Doc Rivers, he said “Ray, you just got traded to the Grizzlies for OJ Mayo”. Ray Allen then threw a fit and basically bashed the Grizz as a worthless team, who reminded him of the Bobcats, “the worst NBA team ever bobcats mind you”. Aside from Ray Allen throwing a hissey fit like a 4 year old kid, there is no way he would be ok with coming off the bench. I have a feeling he would rather retire than come to the Grizz, and I also think he would consider himself a starter, even if he is playing on 2 bad ankles, a broken spine and only has one arm. I would love to have his shooting skills in Memphis, but I think it is a bad idea to keep trying to get him, it might be a waste of time.

  7. Reginald PerryNo Gravatar says:

    I say offer him a 3 year 15 million dollar deal and start him. Let Tony Allen play in the same backcourt with Tony Wrotne.

  8. wyattNo Gravatar says:

    when allen realizes how good of a team he can make the grizzlies, then i doubt he would make a huge deal about having to come to poor old memphis. it wouldn’t be near as upsetting as being traded here mid season like what almost happened last year. that kind of thing isn’t an issue here anymore. we meet his three criteria: 1. competing for champ 2. money 3. role on team.

    the only problem is, outside of the money, there are only four or five teams that offer a chance to play for a championship quicker than we do (okc, lakers??, san antonio, boston, miami). could he be our missing piece? a shooter to stretch the floor and truly open up our inside game? maybe/probably. and hopefully he realizes that. but boston and miami give him the two best chances to get back to the finals next year, so it is hard for me to see him going anywhere but to one of those two teams. i would love to have him here.

    if not, please go after foye. we need a three point shooter.

  9. btrautscNo Gravatar says:

    Ray Allen will not be coming to Memphis. Joel is correct.

    He freaked out when he thought he’d been traded to MEM. He will not openly sign on the free market. This is a team PR move.

    Expect a more realistic move *if anything* as mgmt has already proven they are pretty inept at pushing pieces to compete quickly.

    We could have snagged Chase Budinger (9ppg 40% 3Pt)

    JJ Redick/ Anthony Morrow/ CJ Watson could all be certainly available with a Sign & Trade with OJ Mayo..

    Jason Terry could potentially be a good FA signing. Jeff Green & Steve Novak could also be better than serviceable FA’s that would immediately improve shooting/ spacing and team culture.

  10. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Foye would be a good signing. Too bad they wont go after Beasley. I would take him any day over the average talent backups they have now.

  11. OBTBNo Gravatar says:

    I love the idea of signing Ray Allen, but I think we need to look at more long-term solutions. Here’s a trade proposal I’ve set up on ESPN involving the Timberwolves. Here, we’d get a young shooter and a young point guard, both with high ceilings. We’d be sending Rudy in the trade:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7279rqg

    Thoughts?

  12. kasdNo Gravatar says:

    I HAVE TO SAY THE TITLE TO THIS ARTICLE IS A LITTLE MISLEADING…..

  13. ColeNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with kasd. The title of this article is very misleading. Most of us who frequent 3sob are serious Grizzlies fans and have known that the Grizzlies have targeted Ray Allen since at least the failed trade last season. We are also quite aware of the Grizzlies interest in signing Allen as a free agent this offseason.

    The title of “Ray Allen To Sign With Grizzlies?” makes it sound like there has been some news and that a Ray Allen signing is imminent. I suggest a better title for this article would be “Grizzlies Pursue Ray Allen”, “Will Ray Allen Sign With The Grizzlies?”, or even “How Ray Allen Impacts the Grizzlies”.

    I feel like this is an honest mistake and not something that is just to try to drive traffic. At least I hope so. I have ran a blog in the past and I understand the temptation to write headlines that stretch the truth to attract hits. However, it causes you to lose credibility in the eyes of your readers.

    All that being said, that you 3sob for the excellent work that you do in following the Grizz.

  14. KrimsonNo Gravatar says:

    It needs to be Morrow(Much younger). Im wondering if ATL arent putting some kind of package (for Rudy maybe) since they let Williams go? I would prefer Crawford,or Terry (someone accustumed to that role). If Allen doesnt want to come thats quite alright.

  15. TylerNo Gravatar says:

    I wish. I think it’s pretty clear that he’ll go to Miami though…

  16. theGrizzFanNo Gravatar says:

    A healthy Ray Allen playing with heart would put the Grizzlies over the top next season. As an old vet looking at signing his last NBA contract, Chris Wallace needs to sell the idea of him leading this team to their first championship as he rides into the sunset. Wallace needs face time with Allen to sell this idea, though. It could happen, but Wallace needs to go all out.

  17. RomanNo Gravatar says:

    I’d rather go after Courtney Lee because he can back up at SG/SF. He is younger, athletic, and he can defend better than Allen while also able to knock down 3′s. Not saying is a better shooter than Allen but he is more versatile and would fit better with the Grizzlies.

    • LivininMemphis25No Gravatar says:

      My thoughts exactly, Ray is a pipe dream that the Grizzlies are chasing. I say trade Tony Allen to someone for an exception. Sign Courtney Lee and Danny Green. Those 2 players give us B-Ball IQ, 3 point shooting, defense & hustle all we need and more the SG/SF position. Q, Dante and Allen only give us defense and hustle for some 2nd rounders. Re-sign Gilbert or get Carlos Arroyo and move Selby, Pargo, and Hudson 2nd rd pick to Orlando for Earl Clark PF/SF. The only free agent out of Boston we need to go get is Ryan Hollins to back-up Mark. Robert Sacre out of Gonzaga I think has good size at 7-0 263, could be a solid back-up for Mark. Sacre could be a solid pro and signed long term at a minimal price tag. Lee and Green are gritty players that won’t break the bank and bring a lot more to the table than the current players the roster. This also gives Tony Wroten 2 perfect examples of what the Grizzlies need from him. Make something happen don’t wait on it to fall in your lap it almost never does.

  18. LouisNo Gravatar says:

    OBTB, my thoughts. Booooo. I don’t want that head case damarcus cousins and we arnt in rebuilding mode, we’re in “win now” mode

  19. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    Louis: how is sending Rudy to the Kings, for 2 talented and well established players considered a “rebuilding” move? You would be adding 2 athletic freaks who combine for over 30 PPG, not to mention they are young, so the Grizz would be able to keep them for a while. Cousins is a head case at times, but i think Memphis is a place he would fit well in, we dont judge anymore, not after how Z-BO and TA have changed. Plus cousins would add to our rebounding skills on both ends, and Evans played for the Tigers, and can hit 3′s very well. Overall, this move says “we want to win now” more than keepin rudy and looking for a gem in a rookie. I love rudy, but if this deal was possible, we would be fools not to seriously check it out.

  20. @gfeniliNo Gravatar says:

    There´s another FA who our FO should really target if they are not able to sign Ray Allen: Leandro Barbosa. Amazing teammate, veteran, understand his role, former 6th man of the year, 40% career 3pt. Everything we wish from OJ

  21. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Joel: I like both of those players but one major problem. Either cousins or Gasol or Randolph would have to come off the bench. Not gonna happen.

  22. TayNo Gravatar says:

    Why don’t the grizzlies go after Eric Gordon or somebody since ray Allen haven’t scheduled a meeting with them

  23. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Allen may not decide until next week. By then the only free agents left will be Thabeet and Mr. Magoo.
    Havent heard any team clamoring for mo spickets ( damn this auto correct) or Darrell Arturo. Pretty safe to say they both will be back. Yeppers, cusp of a championship.

  24. RfoxNo Gravatar says:

    Ray Allen appears to be unaware that he is considering the Grizzlies.

    Want a guy we might get? how about Brandon Rush – restricted FA in Golden state that plays D and hits well over 40% from 3 point range

    Randy Foye is basically a worse version of OJ Mayo and Hinrich can’t hit the ocean from the beach.

    I wish I could send a subliminal message to Wallace about Rush – he doesn’t have star potential but he’s a very good player – if you check the advanced stats he shines (see Hollinger on ESPN).

  25. @gfeniliNo Gravatar says:

    for the love of god, why not Leandro Barbosa???

  26. RfoxNo Gravatar says:

    he’s not the player he used to be (barbosa) – here is the link to hollingers advanced stats on the shooting guards in the nba

    Rush is a ton better, Mayo is better than barbosa

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics?position=sg&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fhollinger%2fstatistics%3fposition%3dsg

    Rush is a surprisingly good shooter and could be gotten cheap – his qualifying offer is 4.3 mill or so

    of course the way things are drying up, OJ might be back

  27. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    Direct quote from an ESPN article

    “He hated the way Ainge dangled him in trade talks, hated that the Celtics told him he was on his way to Memphis in a deal at the March deadline only to have Rivers later tell him the trade was dead.” THIS is the reason i did not want the Grizz to go after Ray Allen, it was a waste of time from the start. maybe the Grizz will ACTUALLY make a move on someone now, idk what is going on in the Orginization, but it is driving me up a wall.

  28. Joe SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Doesn’t matter. Ray is going to Miami.

    This team would trade Rudy before Tony. Tony is the face of Grit and Grind.

  29. AjNo Gravatar says:

    grizz need to go after jerryd bayless or leandro barbosa to fill in that sg gap

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