The free agent with the most rumors surrounding him has probably been sharpshooter Ray Allen, who helped the Miami Heat secure an NBA championship in 2013.
News broke on Thursday that LeBron James, Allen’s teammate on the Heat, met with Allen recently to try to convince him to join the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sources told ESPN that when James was visiting Miami during his recent two-week rest period, he tried to appeal to Allen to join the Cavs. Allen has been reported to be considering his options and getting ready to make a decision in February.
But Ethan Skolnick, a Bleacher Report writer, indicated that it’s unlikely that Allen will choose the Cavaliers.
“Consistently heard from associates that chance to contend, late minutes & coach were main factors in if/where 2 return,” Skolnick, who has followed the situation closely, said via Twitter.
“Lack of familiarity w/ Blatt had been a factor, regarding Cleveland. Now, the 2-spot, after Smith/Shumpert additions, is crowded.”
The Cavs just added Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the roster through a trade. Those two will likely take most if not all of the shooting guard minutes, though Blatt would presumably give Allen some minutes if he did choose Cleveland.
Allen has a lot of options. One is staying out of the league, or retiring. If he does chose to join a team midseason, there may be more attractive ones than the Cavs.
The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies have been reported to have interest in Allen, and could likely offer him more minutes in more stable environments, although their rosters are also crowded. Golden State has the best record in the league while Memphis is No. 3 in the Western Conference.
The Los Angeles Clippers or Washington Wizards, two other teams linked to Allen, also present intriguing scenarios. The Clippers are coached by Doc Rivers, who coached Allen for multiple years in Boston, where they won a championship. Several former Celtics teammates are currently with the team. The Clippers are a little further back in the tough Western Conference, currently at the No. 6 seed.
The Wizards have been playing well and sit in second place in the Eastern Conference. The most attractive things about the Wizards is their lack of a backup shooting guard, the assist machine that is John Wall, and the fact that Allen’s former Boston teammate Paul Pierce is one of the leaders of the team.