Allen, who is 36 years old, provides the Grizzlies with a big-time 3-point threat, which is a major need for the league's worst 3-point shooting team. Especially, when you consider that they're going to lost O.J. Mayo to free agency this summer, they absolutely need someone who can help spread the floor. Enter, Allen.
The question, though, is whether they should offer him the full mid-level exception, which is good for $5 million per season, and if he'll bite at that price. Allen, who hasn't made south of $10 million per season since 1999, has to realize that his market value is probably somewhere near the full mid. However, this is where things get a little tricky. The Miami Heat seem to be his top choice, the defending champs can offer just $3 million per season, which is known as the mini-mid-level exception.
Now it comes down to: cash-money or playing for the defending champs, thus giving him another opportunity to win a ring. That's not to say the Grizzlies, with Allen, aren't a title-contending team, but the Miami Heat will surely enter the 2012-13 season as the favorites to win the championship. So, money or rings? Or, both?
Can't he have both if he plays for the Grizzlies? Sure, the sale of winning a title in Memphis is going to be a tough one, but we're close. With a core of Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Tony Allen and Ray Allen, you can't tell me that team doesn't become one of the favorites to come out of the West, right? But does Allen see it that way? And is a $2-million pay cut to play for the Heat really even a "big deal" to enter the season with one helluva chance to win another title? This for a guy who has earned over $178 million in salary over his career.
This is obviously going to be one of the biggest stories over the summer, starting tonight when the free agent period begins. We'll probably see this play out over the next few days, but from the sound of things it looks like it's coming down to the Heat and the Grizzlies.
Money or rings, Mr. Allen? Or, both -- which is something I'd like to think the Grizzlies can offer him.