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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Report: Chicago Bulls Making Push For Free Agent Ray Allen

Ray Allen is still undecided on his playing future, but the Chicago Bulls are trying their best to convince the sharp shooter to play in the Windy City.
ESPN Chicago reported Monday that the Bulls reached out to Allen’s representatives and are one of a handful teams interested in the two-time champion.
The Bulls revamped their roster this summer by adding Pau Gasol and Aaron Brooks and are hoping Derrick Rose plays in his first relatively full and healthy season since 2010-11.
The team hopes that head coach Tom Thibodeau’s relationship with the 3-point shooter from their days in Boston will be a key selling point.
Allen has not publicly announced a decision to play this season, but privately he reportedly says he wants to return to play for a contender.
Because the Bulls have already used their mid-level exception, they can only use a minimum salary exception to sign Allen.
The Miami Heat have also expressed interest in Allen.
Photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsFiled under: An…

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Bulls Have Contacted Ray Allen

The Chicago Bulls are believed to be among almost a dozen NBA teams to have contacted Ray Allen and his representatives.
The Bulls are likely the only significant contender pursuing Allen who do not have a true starting shooting guard.
Jimmy Butler is slated to start at shooting guard but can play small forward, which would move Mike Dunleavy Jr. to a reserve scoring role where he may be better suited.
Allen was coached by Tom Thibodeau with the Boston Celtics.

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Ray Allen reportedly in ‘no rush’ in deciding on future


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Where’s the Best Free-Agent Destination for Ray Allen to Finish His NBA Career?

NBA careers, even those that reached legendary heights, don’t always offer soft landings.

Well-decorated sharpshooter Ray Allen could be one of the fortunate few to have control over his conclusion.

The 39-year-old hasn’t officially announced his intention for what would be his 19th season in the league. Earlier this summer, he sounded ready to walk away for good.

“I’ve played 18 years, and the way I look at my career, I’m content with everything that I’ve done,” Allen said, via Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant. “… To continue playing, really, the only argument is I can because I’m in great shape. But just because you can doesn’t mean you have to.”

Then again, just wanting to might be reason enough to sign off on another round of fabled preparations and more crunch-time miracles.

A source told ESPN The Magazine‘s Chris Broussard that Allen has informed those close to him of his plans to play in 2014-15. While the sniper himself has kept quiet on his plans, the closer this campaign comes to tipping off, the harder it may be for him to hang them up.

Especially with nearly every championship contender saving him a spot. Each has something a little different to offer, but the best landing spots can sell him on opportunity, familiarity, usage and, of course, realistic title hopes.

With his decision potentially made on playing another season, these five teams should be in the strongest position to bring him on board.

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San Antonio Spurs Offer Ray Allen What No Other NBA Team Can

The San Antonio Spurs rarely make epic free-agent splashes, but they’ve been known to add the occasional veteran role player.

Could unrestricted free agent Ray Allen follow in the footsteps of previous summer additions along the lines of Michael Finley and Antonio McDyess?

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein seems to believe there’s a chance.

He reports that, “Sources told ESPN.com this week that the Spurs and 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.”

Stein adds that, “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.”

A note of caution is in order, however.

Indeed, Allen has been anything but committal since becoming a free agent after spending two seasons with the Miami Heat

“As Ray has previously stated, he is taking this time to make a decision whether or not he will play next season,” agent Jim Tanner said in an August statement, per USA TODAY Sports. “Any reports otherwise are false.”

Allen has sounded a similar tune.

“It’s August, and I don’t want to rush to judgment,” Allen said, according to the Hartford Courant‘s Dom Amore. “I want to get to September and see how I really feel.”

So the Spurs’ odds of acquiring the iconic sharpshooter hinge in part on whether he decides to delay retirement another year. Competing with Allen’s likely temptation to join LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers reasons to be another obstacle.

But Allen’s intentions remain indeterminate enough for San Antonio to hold out hope.

“There’s so much speculation about me going to Cleveland,” Allen told the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy. “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.”

Allen added, “I have not leaned towards Cleveland. I have not made any mention of going to Cleveland. These last two months were about me physically, and deciding whether I want to play again.”

As Murphy notes, “Allen is weighing family concerns and a major question of whether he wants to retire in prime physical shape, or whether he wants to chase his third NBA title.”

And that’s where the Spurs barge their way into the conversation. 

While one could certainly argue that the Cavaliers and Clippers both offer comparable chances at that third title, San Antonio is coming off the fifth championship in franchise history and appears to be in prime condition to vie for another one.

It may take Cleveland some time to develop title-caliber chemistry between its established superstars (James and Kevin Love) and their younger counterparts (Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson).

Meanwhile, Los Angeles has been ousted from the conference semifinals in two of the last three seasons—and from the opening round in 2013.

The Spurs have made two consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and came within two conference-finals victories of doing so in 2012. 

Point guard Tony Parker remains in the prime of his career, scoring and facilitating as well as virtually any floor general in the business. At 38 years old, Tim Duncan returns for at least one more season while aging with remarkable grace and making an All-Star-caliber impact on both ends of the floor.

And while sixth man Manu Ginobili remains a lethal weapon for 20-25 minutes per contest, the Spurs can increasingly rely on the emergence of Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard—a 23-year-old boasting elite defensive skills and a suddenly robust offensive game replete with perimeter shooting, driving ability and a rapidly improving in-between game.

This team’s core should be attractive to Allen. A platoon of capable role players (Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, Marco Belinelli and—when healthy—Patty Mills) should ensure San Antonio remains the deepest team in the business, with or without Allen.

But there certainly reasons to be room enough for a veteran winner who has a knack for nailing timely three-pointers.

Though Allen turned 39 this summer, he’s still in fantastic shape and proved plenty relevant during Miami’s most recent postseason march.

After averaging 9.6 points per contest and converting on 37.5 percent of his three-pointers during the regular season, the Connecticut product was at times lethal in the playoffs—averaging 13 points against the Brooklyn Nets and notching double-figure points three time against the Indiana Pacers.

Beyond offering Allen an opportunity to win now, San Antonio can also guarantee a role in which he’d thrive.

Allen’s bread and butter remains the corner three-ball, as attested to by last season’s shot chart.

As Heat.com’s Couper Moorhead noted back in 2012, “It just so happens that there may be no better floor spacer, nor a better mover without the ball, than Allen.”

Then-teammate Shane Battier made a similar observation in 2012, specifically noting the spacing value of those corner bombs.

“That’s the kind of decisions we want teams to make,” Battier said, per ESPN.com’s Tom Haberstroh. “Not a fun decision. The corner three is an absolute killer. If you allow it, you’re in trouble. If you defend it, you’re in business. The threat of it can be just as potent as the actual shot…If we’re making shots, especially from the corner, the lanes are going to open up.”

Good as Battier himself was from those corners, it’s hard to find anyone better than Allen—as Spurs fans remember all too well from a certain shot in the 2013 NBA Finals.

Allen’s lethality from sideline to sideline makes his fit in San Antonio all the better.

Per NBA.com, the Spurs made 42.3 percent of their threes from the left corner (sixth league-wide) and 39.3 percent of their attempts from the right corner (15th league-wide). Given the volume of shots attempted from those locations, San Antonio’s success rate is especially impressive.

There’s little doubt it would be even more impressive with Allen in the fold.

Interest aside, there’s certainly little guarantee Allen winds up in silver and black. In addition to the competition for his services, San Antonio has little roster flexibility.

As Stein notes, “The Spurs, meanwhile, have only one open roster spot at the moment,” and centers Gustavo Ayon and Aron Baynes remain candidates to take that spot.

Still, San Antonio has its full mid-level exception available. That’s something neither the Cavaliers nor Clippers can offer. Allen’s decision probably won’t come down to money alone at this point in his storied career, but a little extra couldn’t hurt.

The Spurs whiffed in their pursuit of free-agent big man Pau Gasol (who eventually signed with the Chicago Bulls this summer), and they may well come up short with Allen.

Hopefully it won’t be for a lack of trying.

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Spurs, Clippers pursuing Ray Allen

The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as possible destinations for Ray Allen. Allen is still deciding whether or not he will retire, but he has been widely expected to join LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers should he continue his playing career. Doc Rivers is a natural recruiter for Allen given their time together with the Boston Celtics. The Spurs have one roster spot available.

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Allen satisfied with trespass charges for teens

Ray Allen has been advised that Miami-Dade County will pursue charges against seven teens.



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Ray Allen — City Attorney Demands Law Change … After NBA Star’s Home Invasion

The 7 teens who entered Ray Allen’s Florida home while his wife and children were asleep inside SHOULD HAVE been arrested … so says the Coral Gables City Attorney who tells TMZ Sports he’s gunning to change the laws so he can lock up trespassers in the future.

The backstory is crazy … the teens were partying at a nearby home last week when they decided to waltz into Allen’s home because they thought he was in Cleveland with LeBron James.

When they got inside … after opening an unlocked door … they were confronted by Allen’s wife who screamed at the group to leave. So, they did.

Cops were called and officials found the teens — who allegedly admitted to trespassing. Problem is … because of the way the law is written in FL, cops couldn’t arrest them.

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Ray Allen satisfied with trespassing charges for 7 teens

Ray Allen has been advised that Miami-Dade County will pursue charges against seven teens.



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