Free agent shooting guard Ray Allen has suddenly become the most sought-after free agent left on the market, with the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, and now the Chicago Bulls all interested in acquiring the veteran guard. The 39 year old Allen hasn’t decided if he wants to return for another season yet, but if he does decide to give it another go, he’ll have no shortage of options.
The Spurs, Cavs, Clippers, and Wizards each have a lot to offer, and have a number of selling points they can use to try to woo Ray Allen.
Only one of them can offer Allen everything he could want at this stage of his career. That team is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs can offer money, infrastructure, coaching, talented and high-character teammates, and a strong chance to win a championship, making the Spurs Ray Allen’s best option.
If Allen does return, he’ll no doubt want to play for a contender to have one last shot at another ring. Who better than the defending champs to grant him that opportunity than San Antonio?
The Spurs will be serious contenders once again. While aging veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili may have lost a step, Kawhi Leonard is on the brink of stardom, young players like Danny Green and Tiago Splitter will only get better, and Gregg Popovich is the best coach in the league. The Spurs will bring back their entire championship core, and Ray Allen could help make that core even better.
Ray Allen isn’t the same player he once was, but he can still shoot, and the he can easily find a comfortable role in the Spurs’ offense.
Allen loves the corner three, and the Spurs love to launch that shot at a high frequency. Ray Allen’s ability to move without the ball, coupled with the Spurs’ fluid, ball-movement oriented offensive scheme, should lead to a lot of open looks. This will allow Allen to be an efficient scorer and effective floor-spacer.
The Spurs aren’t exactly desperate for shooting, but you can never really have too much shooting or spacing.
In addition, Ray Allen tends to raise his game in the postseason, and his clutch shooting could prove invaluable come playoff time. Spurs fans know better than anyone that Allen is still very capable of making clutch threes.
The Spurs can also offer Allen a bigger contract than any of his other potential suitors.
San Antonio has their full mid-level exception available, which gives them another leg up on their money-strapped competition. Teams like the Cavs and Clippers can only offer the veteran’s minimum, while San Antonio can offer up to $5.3 million.
Money is hardly a deciding factor in Allen’s decision, but it does add to the Spurs’ appeal. If Ray Allen does want one more decent payday, the Spurs are his best option.
One factor working against the Spurs is that they don’t present an opportunity for a reunion with a former teammate or coach. Ray Allen has ties to at least one key figure on each other team; LeBron with the Cavs, Doc Rivers with the Clippers, Paul Pierce with the Wizards, Tom Thibodeau with the Bulls.
Despite this, the Spurs can offer him the chance to play with respected veterans like Duncan, Ginobili and Tony Parker, as well as Coach Popovich. The chance to join forces with four future Hall of Famers that Allen undoubtedly has a lot of respect for has to be appealing.
The Spurs are a well-run organization full of high-character players, and Allen would fit in nicely. His experience and famed work ethic would make him an excellent mentor to players like Danny Green.
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The Spurs can offer Ray Allen the total package. They’ll be title contenders once again, and can provide him a nice role in a high-powered offense. Allen can shoot open threes without having to worry about carrying the offense or logging heavy minutes. The Spurs can offer him the biggest contract and they can surround him with Hall-of-Fame caliber teammates, a Hall of Fame coach, and an excellent organizational structure, making San Antonio the obvious choice.
What do you think about a potential relationship between the Spurs and Ray Allen? Let us know in the comments!