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Tony Allen agrees to four-year deal to return to Grizzlies

Jul 2, 2013, 11:38 PM EDT

Tony Allen AP

Over the last few seasons in Memphis, Tony Allen helped transform the Grizzlies from an aimless franchise to one with an identity embraced by both the team and the city alike.

Heart, grit, and grind.

Allen’s toughness and skill on the defensive end of the floor is every bit as important to what the team does as the contributions of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies realized Allen’s value, and rewarded it with a multi-year deal to keep him in Memphis.

What was first reported by the Memphis Commercial Appeal has since been confirmed by multiple outlets — Allen has agreed to a four-year deal worth $20 million to remain a part of the Grizzlies. But Allen himself scooped everyone with the news.

There was interest in Allen from other teams, of course, including most prominently by the Milwaukee Bucks. But in the end, Memphis did the right thing by retaining one of the better perimeter defenders in the game, and a player who just happens to be at the core of the identity of a team that just finished its best season ever in reaching the Western Conference Finals.

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