He hasn’t said it’s 100 percent official and no deal is in place for him just yet, but one of the best all-time shooters in the history of the game of basketball, Ray Allen, is believed to be intent on playing another NBA season. Everyone has a guess on where Allen will play, and most guesses focus on one team more than any other. What is the significance of this movement in Allen’s thought process?
What This Means For The NBA
While Allen has not landed with a team, just about everyone in the league believes that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the team that picks him up, due to LeBron James’ friendship with him, and because Allen wants to play for a championship contender. The other point to realize, as a reason why Cleveland is the clear favorite for obtaining Allen’s services, is that Allen has played in the less demanding Eastern Conference for almost all of his career, except for that four-season stop with the Seattle Sonics in the middle part of the past decade. Allen is almost surely going to wind up playing for an Eastern team once again. The Western Conference has too much depth and speed for Allen to play the level of minutes he plays. He would be a more marginal and less essential component on a West roster, for just about any contender other than the San Antonio Spurs. He’ll be in the East, and with Indiana no longer being a contender, what teams other than Cleveland and Miami would Allen want to join? Chicago might be a possibility. Washington doesn’t seem like a realistic spot, because that team is molding Brad Beal into its main shooter.
The only reason this might not work for Cleveland (but an unlikely one) is that the Cavs are pulling in a lot of players. Shawn Marion is probably headed to Ohio to play his next NBA season. Mike Miller, a role-playing three-point shooter, has already agreed to play for the Cavs. James Jones came from Miami. Dion Waiters is still on the roster at the shooting guard spot. Just how many minutes will be made available for Allen if he comes to Cleveland? Does Allen want a role in which his minutes might be reduced compared to what he had at Miami this past season or does Allen want this next season, which could be his final one, to involve extended minutes? Resolving that question could provide a final twist in this story before Allen inks a deal with a team, presumably in the East.
How To Bet The News
So if we’re handicapping this news, there’s only really one or two destinations for Allen that should affect the odds. If he signs in Cleveland, it’s hard to see that changing anything for them. They’re at 5/2 to win the NBA Championship with or without Allen. But if he was to land in a place like Chicago, that would like improve their odds. Chicago was just 24th in the NBA in three-point shooting last season and with so many other pieces in place already, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Bulls 11/2 futures saw a bit of an uptick with Allen. As far as the West goes, signing with Oklahoma City could make sense. They need sharpshooting and have room at shooting guard – especially off the bench. They’re at 6/1 to win the title.
As for a potential deal with the San Antonio Spurs or Los Angeles Clippers, both have respective three-point aces (Danny Green and J.J. Redick). Even though the Clippers were only 22nd in three-point shooting last season, you can probably count both of these teams out.
A one-year deal with Chicago probably makes the most sense but don’t be surprised if Allen opted for Cleveland with LeBron James and the new Big Three in town.