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2012 NBA Free Agency: Would Ray Allen Be a Good Fit for Memphis Grizzlies?

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 01:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics drives in the first half against Mike Miller #13 of the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 1, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJune 21, 2012

Ray Allen will be an interesting player to follow during the offseason. According to Sports Illustrated, the Memphis Grizzlies are said to be among the teams interested in signing him. This comes just a few months after the Grizzlies were on the verge of trading for Allen, per Yahoo! Sports.

Memphis was about to acquire Allen from the Boston Celtics at the trade deadline in exchange for O.J. Mayo. But, according to The Commercial Appeal, the Celtics demanded Dante Cunningham, Josh Selby and Mike Conley in the deal at the last minute.

Now, as the Grizzlies sit and ponder how to retool for an attempt at an NBA Finals run next season, Allen stands as a possibility. With O.J. Mayo unlikely to return, the thought of Allen coming off the bench for the team wearing three shades of blue is an intriguing one.

Statistically, Allen remains a potent scorer capable of making an impact on a contender like the Grizzlies. He averaged 14.2 points on 10.7 field-goal attempts in 34 minutes per game last season. His 45.8 percent field-goal percentage was his sixth best mark in his 16-year career. He shot a career-high 45.8 percent from three-point range.

For a team like Memphis that lacks three-point shooters, Allen would be a great help.

In the playoffs, Allen struggled through an ankle injury. He averaged just 8.9 points per game in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

He was better in the conference finals, averaging 11.6 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting.

Indeed, Allen doesn't have the legs he once did. He endured injuries this season and isn't as explosive as he once was.

Still, Allen would be a welcome addition in Memphis. The Grizzlies currently have Jeremy Pargo, Josh Selby and Quincy Pondexter coming off the bench at guard. None of these players have shown an ability to score consistently.

The question is how much money Allen would demand. In 2011-12, he earned $10 million. The Grizzlies currently have $62.5 million committed to eight players for the 2012-13 season.  That leaves $7 million to spend under the luxury tax threshold.

He could conceivably be signed for $4 or 5 million, since he's 37 years old and the Grizzlies look to be contenders next season.

The Grizzlies would surely like to have a younger, more energetic player as their sixth man. However, if a young, established scorer can't be signed for a reasonable price or if they can't find a player in the draft who can make an immediate impact, Allen could be their guy.

For the small-market franchise, signing Allen is just a matter of price. If they can work that out, then he'd be a nice acquisition.

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