NBA Rumors: Assessing Future of Ray Allen, Bradley Beal and More

Aside from a few small changes, NBA teams are usually set at this point of the year as they get ready for the start of the season. However, front offices remain busy as they attempt to constantly improve the franchise.

Between looking out for potential trades, adding available free agents or simply locking up the talent on the current roster, there is a lot for general managers to do at all times of the calendar.

As a result, fans should always look out for ways in which their team is set to tweak the roster. Here is a look at the latest potential moves from around the league.

 

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards were expecting to be a top team in the NBA this season behind an elite young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Unfortunately, the squad will have to compete with only half of this duo to start the year.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated provided the latest:

Despite this injury, the Wizards want to do whatever it takes to keep Beal in Washington for as long as possible, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com:

That the Wizards will pick up the fourth-year option for the 2015-16 season on Bradley Beal‘s rookie contract before this one tips is a foregone conclusion. His latest injury, a left wrist fracture that required surgery, will have no negative impact on his future here or the team’s plans to work out an extension this summer, multiple persons on both sides have confirmed to CSNwashington.com.

This appears to be a smart move after the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft showed last season that he can be a big-time scorer on a good team. He averaged 17.1 points per game while hitting 40.2 percent of his shots from three-point range. As he continues to improve, these numbers can even pick up in his third year.

Beal even improved in the postseason, averaging 19.1 points with five rebounds and 4.5 assists in 11 games.

On the other hand, the team does have to be cautious about the player’s injury history, which is once again becoming an issue. The guard dealt with leg injuries in each of his first two seasons, missing a total of 35 games. With the latest wrist problem, the Wizards have to hope this does not become a trend.

Still, his talent is reason for Washington to find a way to keep him aboard for as long as he will stay.

 

Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets

While he might not get the respect he deserves, Timofey Mozgov continues to show he can be a dominant force in the low post for some team.

The center is coming off the best year of his career, averaging 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game. Unfortunately, he consistently finds himself behind JaVale McGee on the depth chart.

This could change early on with McGee dealing with a leg injury. Head coach Brian Shaw noted he might not be ready for the start of the season, according to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post:

Still, the real question is what will happen when they are both healthy. McGee has the athleticism, and therefore the upside, to force the Nuggets to keep seeing what they have in him. Meanwhile, Mozgov is wanted by numerous teams around the league, according to Dempsey:

During the past calendar year, Mozgov arguably has been the Nuggets’ most-coveted trade asset. Teams called last winter and throughout the summer. That’s not likely to change, because with a $4.6 million salary, Mozgov is one of the best bangs for the buck in the NBA.

According to HoopsHype (h/t Pro Basketball Talk), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated that Cleveland appeared willing to trade for the center during the summer, but it seems apparent the Cavs were not alone in their quest to acquire Mozgov.

The question is whether the Nuggets want to keep both centers on the roster when they can instead bring in draft picks to help improve for the future. The squad went just 36-46 last season, so looking to rebuild might not be a terrible decisionespecially if things go poorly in the first few weeks.

On the plus side, it seems teams will be willing to make a deal for the player whenever he becomes available, meaning the Nuggets can take their time with a decision.

As long as he stays healthy, Mozgov should be able to help the organization in some way this season.

 

Ray Allen, Free Agent

While the saga surrounding LeBron James’ free agency was a bigger deal, the future of Ray Allen has been much more confusing.

The Boston Globe‘s Gary Washburn suggested in July that Allen was leaning toward following his former teammate to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and at one point, this seemed like a done deal. However, ESPN’s Marc Stein noted his agent thought otherwise:

The fact that he is not yet certain if he will play next year makes things a bit more complicated.

The good news for him is there are plenty of teams interested in bringing in the all-time leader in three-point shooting if he chooses to play.

J. Michael of CSN Washington.com reported the Wizards were interested in signing the guard to replace the injured Beal, but there is a lot of competition for the veteran:

The prospect of being a starter again with Beal‘s absence isn’t likely to make Washington any more enticing for Allen. He’ll soon be 40. Six teams have actually contacted his reps since he became an unrestricted free agent—the Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and…the Milwaukee Bucks.

Meanwhile, Allen also does not have to make a decision immediately. Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge noted that while the guard wants to play for a contender, he can wait and see which ones really pan out over the course of the season, via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com:

He may wait until All-Star break or January. And just see what teams are playing well, which teams are the healthiest and which team that he thinks that he might fit in, just in the style of play. With new coaches at some different places, he may just want to see how it unfolds before he makes a decision.

This seems to be a pretty nice situation for anyone to be in. You do not have to do any of the work over the start of the season and can join an elite squad already in full swing.

As long as teams are willing to wait for him, this might be the smartest and likeliest move for the veteran player.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Danny Ainge: Ray Allen Might Wait Until All-Star Break Before Signing

It seems like a foregone conclusion to many that free agent Ray Allen will inevitably end joining LeBron James in Cleveland. Allen’s former boss, however, expects the former Boston Celtics star to do his due diligence before signing anywhere. “He may wait until All-Star break or January even,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” “And just see what teams are playing well, which teams are the healthiest and which team that he thinks that he might fit in, just in the style of play. With new coaches at some different places, he may just want to see how it unfolds before he makes a decision.” Things can change quickly over the course of a season, but the most obvious landing spot for Allen is the new Land of LeBron, where he would be able to rejoin James on a revamped Cavaliers squad that also added All-Star big man Kevin Love over the summer. “It wouldn’t surprise me (if Allen signs with the Cavs),” Ainge sai

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Ray Allen Agrees To Deal With Cleveland Cavaliers

Looks like Ray Allen has made up his mind about playing next season. Allen, 39, will reportedly joing his buddy LeBron James and play with the Cleveland Cavaliers this upcoming season. Earlier reports of Ray Allen signing with Cavaliers are true. Done deal. #NBA — Glenn Moore (@GlennMooreCLE) October 7, 2014 Allen, a lifetime 40% […]
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NBA Rumors: Ray Allen To Sign With The Cleveland Cavaliers

Ray Allen is taking his talents to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After a dizzying offseason that saw LeBron James leave South Beach to return to his home state of Ohio, it looks like the Cavaliers have lured away another former Heat player—this time it’s the NBA’s greatest three-point shooter of all time, Allen.
According to Glenn Moore of FanSided, the Allen-to-Cleveland signing is a done deal. Moore stated the following on Twitter early Tuesday afternoon:
Earlier reports of Ray Allen signing with Cavaliers are true. Done deal. #NBA
— Glenn Moore (@GlennMooreCLE) October 7, 2014
The rumored acquisition of the 39-year-old shooting guard would be the final piece of the puzzle for the championship-hopeful Cavaliers. This follows an offseason in which Cleveland signed former Heat players such as James Jones, Mike Miller and Shawn Marion to shape a rotation that will aid in LeBron’s quest to lead the Cavaliers to their first NBA Championship. Jones and Miller won two championships with the H…

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WATCH: Little girl does Allen Iverson’s ‘practice’ rant

Allen Iverson’s “practice” rant is one of the best of all time, and a little girl’s spot-on impression made it even better. Basketball writer Steve McPherson devoted some time to teaching his daughter Iverson’s famous press conference, and the result was pure gold. Hopefully, she’s working on learning the entire almost two-minute version. H/t to Deadspin Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports ImagesFiled under: Justin Leger, NBA, Top Stories

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Little Girl Recites Allen Iverson’s Press Conference About Practice

There’s an entire generation that is too young to remember Allen Iverson‘s famous press conference about practice.

Fortunately, people like Steve McPherson are doing their part to educate those sorely deprived souls. In the video above, McPherson helps his daughter Maggie recite Iverson’s press conference in adorable fashion.

Chalk this up as one of the greatest perks of parenting.

[Instagram, h/t Deadspin]

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Report: Wizards once again reached out to Ray Allen

Earlier this summer the Washington Wizards reportedly reached out to Ray Allen to see if he would be interested in joining his former teammate Paul Pierce in coming to Washington. While Allen continues to weigh his options on either returning to the NBA for his 19th season or settling for retirement, J. Michael of CSNWashington.com reports the Wizards have reached out once again to Allen.
The Wizards have reached out to Ray Allen — again — in hopes of convincing the 39-year-old, if he decides to play rather than retire, to come to D.C., CSNwashington.com confirmed via multiple persons with knowledge of the situation Friday. 
The Wizards are looking for depth at the shooting guard position, as well as replacing the offensive production from three-point range lost by the departure of Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets. Pierce fills the hole some with his range, but Allen’s ability to run the floor makes him another suitable option for the Wizards’ offensive scheme. Can you imagine …

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Missouri freshmen Gant, Allen suspended

Missouri freshman Gant, Allen suspended after arrest

      
 

 

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Missouri freshmen Gant, Allen suspended (Yahoo Sports)

New Missouri men's basketball coach Kim Anderson answers questions from the media after he was introduced at an NCAA college basketball news conference in the Reynolds Alumni Center on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri freshmen basketball players Jakeenan Gant and D’Angelo Allen have been suspended after getting arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor third-degree assault.


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Ray Allen Won’t Find Better Fit Than the Chicago Bulls

The list of teams registering interest in legendary free agent Ray Allen isn’t getting any shorter. To the contrary, contenders in both conferences have been linked to the 39-year-old throughout the summer, and the most recent suitor may be the most logical of all.

ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell reports, “The Chicago Bulls have touched base with the representatives of veteran shooting guard Ray Allen, a league source confirmed Monday.”

Previously, Bulls.com’s Sam Smith noted, “The Bulls are believed to be among almost a dozen teams to have contacted Allen and his representatives. In fact, it would be a surprise if just about every team other than the non-competitive 76ers have not contacted Allen.”

While the two-time champion has several strong options in the offing, it’s hard to argue any of them makes more sense than Chicago.

Even better, this is hardly a pipe-dream for the Bulls. They have a ready-made recruiter with previous ties to Allen.

Another key selling point for the Bulls is Allen’s relationship with coach Tom Thibodeau,” Friedell adds. “Allen won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008 while Thibodeau was an assistant on Doc Rivers’ staff.”

The working assumption has been that Allen would follow former Miami Heat teammate LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but not so fast.

“There’s so much speculation about me going to Cleveland,” Allen told the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy in August. “I haven’t even decided where I will play. Obviously LeBron and I are great friends, and James Jones and I are really close. But at no point have those two tried to push me in that direction. I haven’t had that conversation.”

Indeed, Allen hasn’t even decided if he’s going to play another season.

“I’m not in any rush [to make a decision],” Allen explained in August, per the Hartford Courant‘s Dom Amore. “I’ve played 18 years, and the way I look at my career, I’m content with everything that I’ve done. I just want to take this summer and see how it goes.”

Assuming Allen returns for another season, Bulls general manager Gar Forman’s task becomes convincing him that Chicago is his best opportunity to meaningfully contribute to a title. That sales pitch isn’t entirely self-evident, especially with the much-improved Cavaliers lurking.

And for the record, others are reportedly in hot pursuit.

According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, “Sources told ESPN.com this week that the [San Antonio] Spurs and [Los Angeles] Clippers have emerged as two more rivals for the Cavaliers to worry about as Cleveland continues to try to lure Allen away from the Miami Heat.”

The Dallas Mavericks, sources say, are yet another top Western Conference team to register interest in Allen this summer and there are believed to be more teams chasing him that have yet to be identified,” adds Stein.

CSNWashington.com’s J. Michael subsequently indicated that the Washington Wizards were also in the mix.

Connections to Allen abound among his would-be teams. The Clippers are coached by Rivers, who led Allen to his first championship with the Celtics in 2008. This summer, the Wizards signed Paul Pierce, who teamed with Allen in each of his five seasons with Boston. The Spurs faced Allen in each of the last two NBA Finals. 

But the Bulls can offer more than a reunion with the well-respected Thibodeau.

They can simultaneously guarantee both legitimate title chances and robust playing time in the pursuit thereof. Few teams have greater need for a shooting guard who can, well, shoot.

Allen would have to split time with J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford in Los Angeles. He’d vie for minutes with Danny Green and Manu Ginobili in San Antonio. The Cavaliers and Wizards boast emerging young shooting guards like Dion Waiters and Bradley Beal, respectively.

The Bulls are prepared to again start swingman Jimmy Butler at the 2 spot, but that in no way precludes an important role for Allen. For one thing, Butler’s big enough to spend some time at small forward. For another, Chicago is in no position to pass on one of the league’s most iconic perimeter shooters.

Butler made just 28.3 percent of his 3.6 three-point attempts per game last season, marring an otherwise standout season in which the 24-year-old averaged an impressive 38.7 minutes per contest.

Regardless of the shape Chicago’s opening-day roster takes, Butler figures to remain an integral component of Thibodeau‘s rotation. He’s the team’s best perimeter defender and could very well improve his long-range stroke with some additional polish.

That said, the Bulls still have an imminent need for someone who can space the floor and open some lanes for Derrick Rose and his penchant for slashing to the rim.

Allen averaged 9.6 points in just 26.5 minutes per contest last season, his second with Miami. While the 10-time All-Star has adjusted to a more limited role, he still made 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts in 2013-14 and proved he remains one of the league’s premier perimeter specialists.

That wouldn’t translate into 35 minutes per game with the Bulls, but it would assure Allen a prominent niche on par with the one he occupied in Miami.

By now, the 18-year veteran’s interests almost certainly have more to do with legacy than fortune. According to Hoopshype.com, his career NBA earnings have already totaled $184,356,410—and that’s not accounting for endorsements or other income.

To be sure, Allen’s legacy doesn’t need much help. He already ranks 21st on the league’s all-time scoring list and leads the league in made three-pointers by a long shot (with 2,973). A third championship might hammer the point home, but it’s not as though Allen’s winning credentials are in any jeopardy.

To the contrary, it’s his history of success, leadership and pedigree that make him such a desirable commodity in the current marketplace.

The shooting ability certainly doesn’t hurt—especially in its most clutch manifestations—but the intangibles go a long way toward separating Allen from legions of competent marksmen. 

And those intangibles would also go a long way toward keeping the Chicago Bulls in a title conversation they’re eager to join.

It may be hard to envision Allen joining the club best-suited to challenge LeBron’s Cavaliers, but it’s even harder to deny the Bulls are a tailor-made fit—one that could justify delaying that retirement decision for one more year.

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