Three teams that should consider signing Ray Allen
Former NBA star and future Hall-of-Famer Ray Allen put on quite a show in the All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night, pouring in 24 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. Being that Allen is not too far removed from playing in the NBA and is still in phenomenal shape, his performance against a bunch of, well, non-professional basketball players should not be too surprising.
However, you have to wonder if any NBA teams would actually consider signing Allen at this point.
After all, at 43 years of age, he is just a year older than Vince Carter, who is finishing out his illustrious playing career with the Atlanta Hawks this season, and Carter is actually seeing legitimate minutes.
Now, most likely, this will not happen, but for the heck of it, let’s examine three teams that should maybe, possibly, sort of explore the idea of signing one of the greatest shooters who has ever lived:
3. Milwaukee Bucks
Sure, the Bucks added Nikola Mirotic at the trade deadline, but they could still use some perimeter shooting.
Milwaukee ranks just 19th in the league in three-point percentage, and Giannis Antetokounmpo could always use some more shooters to kick the ball out to off of drives.
Allen would be a good fit in that regard.
Now, of course, you wouldn’t want him playing too many minutes, as he would just get toasted defensively, but would he really be any less productive than Pat Connaughton or Donte DiVincenzo at this point?
Outside of Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell, the Bucks don’t have any good shooters in their backcourt. They signed Connaughton specifically for shooting, but he is making just 28.8 percent of his triples this season.
At the very least, Allen would provide Milwaukee with an outside threat to which opponents would have to pay attention, and you certainly wouldn’t be able to double off him to crowd Antetokounmpo.
Ray could actually be a solid asset on a Bucks team that clearly has a three-point shooting weakness that may manifest itself in the playoffs.
2. Houston Rockets
The Rockets are built around shooting. We know this.
Daryl Morey’s whole idea is surrounding James Harden with enough three-point marksmen to send defenses scrambling for 48 minutes, and he achieved that last year when the Rockets won 65 games and took the Golden State Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference Finals.
So, why not add yet another shooter to the ranks of Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Gerald Green?
I actually can’t imagine a better fit for Allen than the Rockets, as he would literally just have to stand out on the perimeter and wait for kickouts from Harden.
It’s not like Houston is dependent on its defense, anyway, so it’s hard to see just how much Allen would hurt the Rockets in that regard. Plus, it’s not like he would be playing huge minutes, so you can mitigate his deficiencies on that end of the floor.
Morey’s whole idea for Houston is to just have as many outside shooters as possible and hope they get hot over the course of a seven-game series. It almost worked last year against the Warriors, where the Rockets actually held a 3-2 series lead before Paul got hurt and Golden State rallied to win Games 6 and 7.
Even at the age of 43, Allen would likely be one of the better shooters in this league today, so if Ray announced he was considering an NBA comeback, I bet the Rockets would give him a call.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Not many teams in the league can use perimeter shooting more than the Lakers.
Los Angeles ranks just 26th in the league in three-point percentage, and the team’s best three-point shooter this season has been—get this—Rajon Rondo, who is actually making 42.3 percent of his treys.
Of course, that is a fairly small sample size, as Rondo has only played in 23 games and is taking just 2.3 three-pointers a night, but you get the picture.
The point is that the Lakers desperately need perimeter shooting, particularly for a club built around LeBron James.
Remember: a big reason why LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers made four straight finals during his second stint there was because James was surrounded by shooters all over the floor, ranging from bigs like Channing Frye to pesky guards like Matthew Dellavedova.
The Lakers simply don’t have that luxury.
Enter Allen, who last appeared in the NBA in 2014 with LeBron’s Heat.
Now, the last image we have of Allen as an NBA player is getting tossed aside by Manu Ginobili as Ginobili blew past him and then threw down a vicious dunk on Chris Bosh in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals, but hey; that isn’t all that relevant here.
Well, maybe it kind of is, because Allen was terrible defensively five years ago and it’s hard to fathom him not getting any worse since, but in spot minutes, he could be a very beneficial offensive threat for LA, as his gravity should open up driving lanes for LeBron.
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