Early September is the time most NBA free agents are waiting for a call that may never come, but Ray Allen has flipped the script. After receiving interest from several of the league’s marquee teams, the future Hall-of-Famer says he is still uncertain whether or not he will play another season.
Speaking at his basketball camp in Connecticut, Allen said that he’s “not in any rush” to make a decision on his playing future and is satisfied with what he’s accomplished throughout his storied 18-year career.
From Dom Amore of the Hartford Courtant:
“I’m not in any rush [to make a decision],” Allen said during a break in the Citi Ray Allen Basketball ProCamp at East Granby High on Saturday morning. “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.”
“To continue playing, really, the only argument is I can because I’m in great shape,” Allen said. “But just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. Many people over these last couple of weeks have lobbied for me to continue to play. … My argument for not playing is, I have done a significant amount in my career and I appreciate everything that has come my way and as I’ve gotten older, I’m 39, there are so many things in life I want to be able to do to affect change — like being around kids full time, which I enjoy.
“So at this point I just feel so good about where I am.”
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have long been considered frontrunners to land Allen if he elects to play another season. The defending champion San Antonio Spurs have also expressed interest, while the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards have reportedly entered the chase for Allen, too.
It’s easy to see why each team listed above believes it has a chance to lure Allen back to basketball: Allen’s rapport with and admiration of James has been well-documented; San Antonio might offer him the best chance to win another title; Los Angeles is helmed by Allen’s former coach Doc Rivers; and Washington is a young, up-and-coming team that acquired his former teammate Paul Pierce this summer.
Despite the emergence of other viable suitors, Cleveland still seems the safest bet if Allen indeed decides to play this season. Our guess is that the Clippers are next in line with the Spurs just behind them. The Wizards, unfortunately, seem like long-shots due to their place in the Eastern Conference hierarchy and his deteriorated relationship with Pierce.
Only one thing is for sure, though: Whatever decision Allen comes to will be made on his time, rare latitude for a free agent of his caliber of which he’s more than deserving.
What do you think?
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