How many NBA teams really need a hobbled, worn down, 36-year-old Ray Allen?
A whole bunch, apparently.
Despite the fact that Allen is coming off one of his most depressing campaigns in recent memory, the best shooter in NBA history is currently commanding the attention of at least five teams.
Just a quick sidebar before we get to who those teams are: a frequent selling point for Allen these days is that he’s coming into this summer having just up his best three-point shooting percentage ever.
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Well, that’s great.
But he has that accomplishment in his back pocket because he was hampered by injuries all year, and he put up his fewest amount of threes since 2002-03. When you take less shots and you're a great shooter, you'll miss less. Meanwhile, his field goal percentage and points total took a dip in 2011-12 – which nobody seems to want to talk about.
I digress, though.
The most talked about potential destinations for Jesus Shuttlesworth as of late are: the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and, of course, his own Boston Celtics.
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First, via ProBasketballTalk:
2morrow is a big day for #HeatNation..
— Dwyane Wade (@DwyaneWade) July 5, 2012
Thursday is the day Allen meets with Heat brass and discusses joining the Heat.
Memphis has offered Allen the mid-level exception ($5 million), the Timberwolves and Clippers have spoke to him as well, but the conventional wisdom is this is a two horse race — Boston or Miami.
David Aldridge of TNT backs that up:
The 36-year-old free-agent guard will visit the Miami Heat on Thursday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, according to a source, and listen to their pitches.
Allen is also being pursued by the Memphis Grizzlies, who are seeking a replacement for free agent guard O.J. Mayo. The Grizzlies didn’t tender Mayo a qualifying offer last week, making him an unrestricted free agent. Memphis will offer Allen its $5 million exception.
Allen had conference calls on Monday with the Grizzlies, as well as the Heat, Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves, according to the source. But Allen is not currently scheduled to make visits to Memphis or Minnesota.
At the moment, the Heat would appear to have the best shot at landing Allen’s services. Coming off the bench for Dwyane Wade isn’t the same thing as doing so for Bradley.
The Clippers and Grizzlies also make a moderate amount of sense. Both are legitimate on-the-cusp teams that could use a veteran, reliable shooter.
The Timberwolves probably have no chance.
Then again, if the last week has taught us anything, it’s that the Wolves having no shot probably means that they’re the team that'll ultimately get him.