The offseason is starting to wind down. We know Big Baby is about to sign. We know Marquis Daniels is about to sign. And we know that much of what the Celtics have been doing this offseason included an effort to trade Tony Allen.
That hasn't gone so well. Now the Celtics have a decision to make. Buy him out, or try to get one more season out of him.
I know… I know… 90% of you just started to look for the comments link to start trashing Tony and saying we should get rid of him. And they could. They could try to give him a million dollars or so now and say good riddance. But that doesn't just get him off the books. There's a percentage of the difference between what he WAS going to get paid…. and what the buyout number is… that still counts against the cap. Since Tony is making $2.5 million, all the numbers we're talking about here are so close… that it won't make a ton of financial difference if the team cuts him or keeps him.
The Davis and Daniels signings will put them about $15 million over the luxury tax threshold. If the team is going to be paying about that amount regardless… why would they cut Tony Allen? Why would Wyc Grousbeck agree to pay millions of dollars for a player that isn't even around… especially when he's physically capable of not only playing… but playing well.
Yes, I chose the qualifying term "physically" there for a reason. No one really knows what an offseason of being shopped is going to for Tony's fragile psyche. BUT… no one really knows what a contract year is going to do for his playing ability, either.
The writing is on the wall for Tony Allen. The Celtics don't really want him on the team. But they might not have a choice but to keep him. The thing is, we've seen him be great (and we've seen him do some mind-blowingly stupid things). Despite all of the horrible turnovers and boneheaded decisions, we've seen the potential in Tony Allen to do great things. Maybe that's why the outcry is a passionate one. We're pissed that our potential prodigy hasn't lived up to his… well… potential. But he's still a young guy (he'll be 28 in January) who can earn himself one more good contract with a good year under his belt.
Tony Allen is the most frustrating player we've seen in this town for a long time. And while we don't know what he's going to bring this year, I can guarantee you this: He'll frustrate the hell out of us one more time. He's either going to be the same hot-and-cold, turnover-prone head case that we all want out of town. Or he's going to dazzle us with sick dunks, lock-down D, and 20-points-off-the-bench jaw droppers that will lead to "WHY COULDN'T HE DO THAT ALL THE TIME" comments for about 9 months.
The C's apparently haven't been able to make a move to get him out of here, so now they actually have a choice to make. Suck it up, pay the money and get him out of here… or roll the dice on his talent and potential in a contract year.