Tony Allen and Grizzlies Reportedly Agree to 4-Year Deal

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2013

The heart of the Memphis Grizzlies' grit-and-grind mentality isn't going anywhere.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Allen and the Grizzlies agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract on Tuesday evening:

While not explicitly confirming the report, Allen essentially indicated to his 78,000-plus Twitter followers that he'll be staying right where he is:

Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal was the first to report Allen was re-signing with Memphis, where the 31-year-old guard spent the past three seasons. He averaged 8.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 79 regular-season starts in addition to making his second consecutive All-Defensive First Team. 

ESPN's Marc Stein is also reporting that the Grizzlies came to terms with forward Jon Leuer on a three-year deal worth $3 million in conjunction with the Allen contract:

The 24-year-old Leuer split his 2012-13 season between the Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 1.8 points per game over 19 regular-season appearances with Memphis, getting 5.1 minutes a night.

While the 6'10" Leuer should help bring the Grizzlies some bench depth, Allen is definitely the story here.

Always one of the league's most athletic and versatile defenders, the 31-year-old Allen was a polarizing figure during the first six seasons of his career with the Boston Celtics. His hard-nosed defense was embraced by the city of Boston, but Allen's penchant for questionable decisions earned him the moniker "Trick or Treat Tony" from Grantland's Bill Simmons

Allen, though, has found a home in the Grizzlies. Playing in a blue-collar city that has wholly embraced the Grizzlies' defense-first, grind-it-out style, Allen and Zach Randolph have become the human embodiment of that movement in Memphis.

Though Allen still struggles to find an offensive rhythm at times, his effect on the defense is palpable. 

Regarded as possibly the league's finest perimeter defender not named LeBron James, Allen's hard-nosed versatility has paid massive dividends for the Grizzlies. On any given night, he can defend a myriad of players, ranging from James to Chris Paul to nearly any other wing player in the Association.

Along with Marc Gasol, perhaps the league's best defensive center, Allen helps stabilize the core of Memphis' stalwart defense. The Grizzlies led the NBA in defensive efficiency this past season and rode that wave of excellence all the way to the Western Conference Finals. 

During the Grizzlies' first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Allen oftentimes found himself locked on Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford, who shot just 38.7 percent for the series.

That's par for the course for those who find themselves across from Allen on the defensive end. Per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets both gave hard chase to Allen as well this offseason.


Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter: