Portland Trail Blazers Should Make A Move For Tony Allen

There is no reason to mince words. Tony Allen would be a great fit with the Portland Trail Blazers, and fans should hope that Neil Olshey aggressively pursues him in free agency. The Blazers have a desperate need for an elite defender like Allen. In fact, the Blazers’ defensive rating was among the league's worst this season. By allowing 106 point per 100 possessions, the only teams below Portland were the New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings, and Charlotte Bobcats. The Orlando Magic were better than the Blazers at defense this year and finished with only 20 wins. These are not the teams that the Blazers want to be associated with on either side of the ball.

Allen would be able to bolster Portland's defense drastically. He is a perennial DPOY candidate, and was voted by NBA GMs in the 2011-2012 season as the league's best perimeter defender. Alongside the length of Nicolas Batum, Allen would make the Rose Garden a nightmare for opposing guards and forwards.

Another area that the Trail Blazers are sorely lacking is leadership. Comically, LaMarcus Aldridge will be the oldest member of the Blazers next year at age 27. Allen, 31, would bring veteran leadership and poise to a young Blazers squad. As a former NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and as a starter for an elite Memphis Grizzlies squad, Allen would bring meaningful playoff experience as well.

Tony Allen is a guy that likes to be appreciated. He left the Celtics because he felt overshadowed by Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. This wouldn't be the case in Portland. He would be a perfect fit in the starting lineup at the scoring guard position. This would be ideal for the Blazers. They already have too many offensive players in the starting lineup, with Lillard, Matthews, Batum, and Aldridge all looking for their own shots. By moving Allen into the starting lineup and Matthews to the bench, the Blazers would instantly improve their weak bench production.

Allen is in the last year of his 3-year, $9.7 million contract with the Grizzlies. He is one of the league's most underpaid players. The Blazers will be able to afford him, and will appeal to him if they offer a 2-3 year contract worth around $5 million a year. With his elite defense, poise, and toughness, Tony Allen would be invaluable to the Portland Trail Blazers.

About Arran Gimba