The Cleveland Cavaliers’ dream offseason just continues getting better. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, free agent marksman Ray Allen has decided to play in 2014-2015, and the Cavs are frontrunners for his services.
Source: Ray Allen has told those close to him that he'll play next season. Cleveland frontrunner but not 100 pct definite
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) August 9, 2014
It’s been assumed since the end of the NBA Finals that Allen would play wherever LeBron James does this season if he opted against retirement. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that likelihood in late June, and Cleveland even began courting Allen in the days leading up to James’ announcement.
The imminent trade of Kevin Love to the Cavaliers – barring a major misstep from all parties – is likely the development that sealed Allen’s future. Broussard tweeted nearly as much on Thursday after news broke of the finalized deal between Cleveland and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
I heard weeks ago that Ray Allen will join Cavs if they get Kevin Love. We'll see….
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) August 7, 2014
A shooter and leader of Allen’s caliber could help any team in the league, and his rapport with James ensures he’ll be a seamless fit with the Cavaliers.
What Cleveland really needs, however, is defensive help, and Allen offers nothing of the sort. He’s a smart team defender and gives consistent effort, but his eroding speed and quickness made him a clear liability on that end of the floor for the Miami Heat the past two seasons.
Allen figures to settle in the Cavs’ rotation between fellow LeBron recruits Mike Miller and James Jones, and coach David Blatt would likely have his pick of Miller and Allen depending on defensive match-ups and which sharpshooter has the hotter hand. But signing Allen wouldn’t significantly move this team’s needle.
Don’t get us wrong. Allen would be another nice addition for Cleveland. Just imagine a come-from-behind or final possession lineup of James, Allen, Miller, Love, and Kyrie Irving; how does that group not yield a high-percentage shot?
But that niche role would be what Allen’s presence amounts to on the whole. As long as his signing doesn’t come at the expense of a player that could make a defensive impact, there’s still no downside here. And personally, we love the idea of watching Allen splash more threes via pin-point passes from James.
Do you want Allen to sign with the Cavs?
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