Will be a strong market for Grizzlies' UFA/perennial DPOY candidate Tony Allen, still an elite wing defender. Likely to sign quickly.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 29, 2017
It seemed likely that the market would be clamoring for Tony Allen, at least according to David Aldridge. I expected Tony Allen to sign somewhere quickly as well.
But, alas, it is not so.
Tony Allen is still a free agent. As of yesterday, Minnesota seemed to be the only landing spot still in the news for TA. Grizz nation has come to the conclusion that Allen will not be returning to Memphis. Though he was a fixture as the “Grindfather” for seven seasons, that era is quickly coming to a close.
There is another Memphis free agent who is still on the market flying under the radar as well.
JaMychal Green. Where is JaMychal Green?
Marc Spears wrote on The Undefeated that Memphis is basically challenging Green to find an offer sheet from another team before they make an offer. Though it is reported that Memphis gave Green an offer soon after free agency started, the talented power forward hasn’t made much noise with other teams.
So why are both Allen and Green still unsigned?
As I mentioned before, Tony Allen is likely to sign elsewhere. Knowing that, the Grizzlies have looked and successfully signed other options to fill his position. If Tony Allen decides to make his return to Memphis, he will likely have to take a significant pay cut from what he would receive from say the Timberwolves or Clippers.
Clippers and Timberwolves are two teams I've heard that have interest in Tony Allen. Doc Rivers, Thibs have ties to him from Celtics days.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 12, 2017
As a multiple time All-NBA defender, you would think the demand for a player that Jamal Crawford calls “one of the best defenders he’s ever faced” would be high. But, Allen is also 35 years old, can’t shoot, and a bit of wild card in terms of his antics on the floor. There are many teams in the league that just aren’t interested in that type player.
For JaMychal Green, his leverage against the Grizzlies is fading. If he received an offer from a team for $15 million per year for three years early in free agency that would put Memphis is a tough spot. We would fork over a lump of cash to keep him, and inevitably he would demand more in three years.
GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax wrote about how Green will inevitably have to take less money a few days ago. And, Tim MacMahon of ESPN wrote about how the NBA Free Agency money is just gone now. Productive players, aka JaMychal Green, will now settle for less money because the top tier of NBA players grabbed more money than was available for a salary-balanced roster.
Grizzlies owner Robert Pera already did the possible overpaying free agents thing last offseason.
Exactly what Green was banking on (no pun intended) didn’t happen. Virtually nothing has happened. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News wrote that the Bulls may be interested, and San Antonio is keeping him in their back pocket.
But that was three weeks ago.
Fast forward to today and JaMychal Green is still without a job. And as Michael Wallace of Grind City Media put it:
Chalmers' signing brings Grizz roster to 14 on full or partially guaranteed contracts, not including rooks Brooks, Rabb or FAs Green, Allen.— Michael Wallace (@MyMikeCheck) July 20, 2017
Allen and Green are both legitimate NBA players at this stage in their careers. As free agents, your main objective is to be desirable, and both can help an NBA team. But, it seems that their market value has dropped. I hope the best for both of them.
And, I really hope JaMycha Green returns for the Grizzlies, but as time ticks away, it could benefit Memphis more and more. Tony Allen has proved David Aldridge wrong, and not in a good way. And the likelihood of Green returning to Memphis looks more promising than ever.
I would tell you to “stay tuned, this could get interesting”, but at the pace these guys are going, we might not hear anything for awhile.