At some point, Ray Allen is going to announce his decision whether he’s staying in the NBA or retiring, and there are plenty of teams waiting to hear from him. At first it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the clear favorites to sign the future hall of famer, but the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers emerge as stiff competition that should be very appealing to the 39-year old.
Allen, a two-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, is enjoying the attention. After 18 years in the NBA, he’s contemplating whether to retire after a long, rich and successful career in which he has played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Supersonics, Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, becoming the all-time leader in three point field goals, or stay for another run, obviously setting his sights on a title contender.
Allen didn’t exactly suffer in Miami, but he came there from the Celtics because of James, who courted him and recruited him, a decision which ended up winning another title for the both of them, and making another NBA finals a year later. The Heat are still a solid team, but not a title contender, with or without Allen.
LeBron James going to Cleveland and showing his influence by helping add Mike Miller and Shawn Marion to the team probably helps Allen make up his own mind. Now that Kevin Love has joined, the Cavaliers look like the clear favorites to win the East and obviously one of the main contenders for the championship. But the Cavs, unlike the Marion case, which only had an appealing offer from the Pacers, aren’t alone in the race for Allen.
There’s more in the universe of the NBA than just the team LeBron James plays for. Like the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs. Like other teams out West seeing themselves as viable contenders for the NBA title. The Los Angeles Clippers can’t offer more than a minimum deal but have plenty of roster spots, and would love to add a shooter. It remains to be seen just how much Doc Rivers and Ray Allen sounds like an appealing option for the two of them, as the two didn’t part ways on the best of terms in 2012.
The Spurs? Their roster is full and they have quite a few options in terms of filling that slot. However, if Allen does choose to return to the NBA for at least one more season, going to the defending NBA champions with a head coach that knows very well how to handle the heavy load of an 82-game season with veteran players, might be the best option available, even in a world where LeBron James keeps calling you up to recruit you.