There was a great deal of nostalgia regarding the 2008 NBA champion Celtics at TD Garden Sunday night with the Celtics retiring the jersey number of Paul Pierce. There was also a glaring need Sunday night for the current Celtics to upgrade on the defensive end.
Enter old friend Tony Allen, who was bought out by the Chicago Bulls this past weekend and has cleared waivers. He’s eligible to sign with any team in the NBA.
The first question here is, is Allen a good fit for the 2018 Celtics?
Unfortunately for Celtics fans in their 20s and 30s, the answer is not really.
Allen is 36-years-old and is several years removed from his “grit and grind” best with the Grizzlies. The Celtics have also been a little hesitant to bring back “Doc Rivers era” players with Brad Stevens at the helm as many from that group have a “back in my day” aura about them (Allen was vocal about Isaiah Thomas not having a tribute video on Paul Pierce night and was teammates with the back in my day king, Rajon Rondo, this season up until a few days ago).
It’s clear that Al Horford and Marcus Morris are the veteran leaders on this team and a player like Allen may disrupt team chemistry.
Allen was still being counted on as a defensive stopper for the Grizzlies up until last April, when he strained his left calf muscle in the final game of the regular season. He did not dress for Memphis’ first round series loss, a sweep, to San Antonio.
A left fibula fracture also had him in and out of the Pelicans lineup this season. Because of the injury, Allen hasn’t logged a minute in the NBA since early December but he was set to return to play for New Orleans a few weeks back until he was traded to Chicago on Feb. 1. He did not log any minutes with the Bulls this season.
The Rockets were one of the initial suitors for Allen’s services after his buyout, but Houston is all set to sign Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright. The Thunder remain the most likely option for Allen, followed by the Celtics.