Grizzlies Snare Tony Allen from Celtics

The Boston Celtics will be without one of their best defenders off the bench when the new NBA season kicks off after guard Tony Allen reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Reports said Allen will receive around $9.7 million throughout the length of the contract, with all three years guaranteed.

Memphis general manager Chris Wallace confirmed the deal. “All I am at liberty to say is that we have come to terms with Tony Allen, and expect to sign a contract soon,” he said. Allen was earlier reported to be close to re-signing with the Celtics, but negotiations bogged down as Boston could not guarantee the third year of the contract the six-year guard wanted.

Despite suffering injuries throughout his six-year stay in Boston, Allen had been a key factor in the Celtics’ success, especially in the previous season. Allen’s defense was significant in containing LeBron James when the Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The 28-year-old from Oklahoma State University also played tough defense against Kobe Bryant to help the Celtics come close to winning their record 14th NBA title.

Allen is expected to become a significant contributor to a Grizzlies team teeming with young talents like Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo, and Marc Gasol.