Breaking Down Ray Allen’s Top 5 Potential Suitors
Despite recent reports suggesting veteran sharpshooter Ray Allen had decided to return for another NBA season this year, he still remains undecided. While there is no news on that front, there is still time for speculation as to where he’ll actually play if the 39-year old decides to give it one more go.
Many have speculated that Allen would automatically follow LeBron James to Cleveland to play with the Cavaliers, but Allen has shot down rumors of his likely landing spot. Allen has stated that if he does play, he wants to go somewhere where he’ll still be paid like a valued piece. He even admitted he has “an ego too” and won’t just latch on somewhere for the veteran minimum.
To play with James again, he’d likely have to. That doesn’t mean Ray Allen to the Cavs isn’t happening, but it also doesn’t mean it’s a lock, either. With that, let’s take a look at the five most likely spots Ray Allen could end up in when the 2014-15 NBA season gets going:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
I still think Allen knows that if he wants to win, he probably needs to go to Cleveland. As long as the Kevin Love trade goes through, the Cavs are probably going to end up being the team to beat in the East. Allen will like his odds at chasing down a third NBA title. The price may have to still be right, however.
2. Miami Heat
It’s not insane to think Allen has some loyalty in him and could stick with the Heat. Miami still has two of it’s original “Big 3” and added some decent role players, as well as Luol Deng. Allen would keep a sizeable role off the bench as a shooter and could help the Heat rival the Cavs as the second or third best team in the Eastern Conference. If he doesn’t stay in Miami or go to Cleveland, though, he could try out the Bulls or decide to go out West.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
Allen could reunite with Doc Rivers in L.A. There were always a ton of trade rumors involving Allen from his days with Doc in Boston, but that could be water under the bridge by now. If it is, the Clippers would be a nice destination as a young, talented team that appears to only be getting better. They don’t have a strong need for shooting off the bench, though, so paying Allen what he wants could be an issue.
4. San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio is among the best at prolonging veteran’s careers and bringing in seemingly done players and getting the most out of them. Allen isn’t even close to washed up, though, as he’s still one of the best shooters in the league and keeps himself in remarkable shape. The Spurs are pretty deep, but they’d have to consider adding one of the best all-time shooters to their bench. Allen saw first hand how efficient the Spurs are in the Finals last year, so he could take the “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach here.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC might be the best combination of need, want and championship upside for Allen. They still need outside shooting and bench scoring, while Allen could have a shot at competing for a title out West with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook leading the way.
These are almost certainly the top five teams Allen will consider, while it wouldn’t be crazy if he decided to spend his final year or two playing with one of his old Celtics buddies. If he did that, he could team up with Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn or Paul Pierce in Washington.
Ultimately, Allen just wants to be wanted and wants to be compensated fairly. He’s probably going to play at least one more year and he’ll likely sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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