Jun 24, 2014, 5:19 PM EST
Ray Allen isn’t Jesus Shuttlesworth on the court anymore (although he always will be in my heart), the young prospect full of promise. He isn’t the elite, All-Star Ray Allen of Seattle anymore. He’s a role player off the bench. He played 26 minutes a game off the bench in the regular season and playoffs, shot 37.5 percent from three in the season, 38 percent in the playoffs. He’s smart and solid still.
However his skills are clearly declining at age 38.
That doesn’t mean he’s done — he wants to come back for another year, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN. By the way, he would like to do that wherever LeBron James plays.
After briefly considering retirement following the Miami Heat’s loss in the NBA Finals, Ray Allen is leaning toward returning for a 19th season in the NBA, according to sources.
Allen has a desire to continue playing alongside LeBron James, whom he developed a close relationship with during their two seasons together in Miami, whether it is with the Heat or another team. James and Allen vacationed together last week after the Heat were beaten in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.
Meaning Allen only wants to come back if he can contend. Can’t blame him there.
Allen is one of the best conditioned, most meticulous athletes in the game. Nobody wins the race with father time, but Allen can hold out longer than most. In a limited role off the bench he still has some value.
The question is money. Allen made $3.2 million last season, if he wants to make that or more I’m hesitant. But if I’m the team wherever LeBron lands at the end of this summer, and I can get Wade for a veteran minimum contract (or very close to it), I’d pull the trigger. Allen is great in the locker room and can still knock down the corner three nightly.
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