The NBA news cycle slows to a grinding halt in September as rosters are mostly filled, trades mostly completed, and, for the most part, the things we have to get the most excited about are videos of stars getting together in pickup games. So, it came as a pleasant surprise on Monday afternoon when some free agent signing news of relative note was announced.
Tony Allen, he of Grit N’ Grind fame in Memphis, has finally signed with a new team after not being brought back by the Grizzlies, and he’s headed south to New Orleans to play with the Pelicans.
It’s a sensible signing for the Pelicans, who are in desperate need of help on the wing, especially after the injury to Solomon Hill that will keep him out for an extended period. Allen will be another defensive presence in the New Orleans back-court to go along with Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo, and he’s a nice addition for a team that will be pushing for a playoff spot this season.
However, while Allen is a much needed body on the wing, he won’t provide them added spacing, which remains the biggest hole on the roster. With Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins inside, New Orleans is in desperate need of perimeter shooting, and, while Allen has become one of the league’s premier perimeter defenders when healthy over the years, he’s never been a reliable shooter. It’s a good, low-risk pickup for the Pelicans, but they’ll need to do more and acquire some shooting if they’re going to maximize what they have in their front-court All-Stars.