A collective gasp could be heard around the Miami basketball world when Ray Allen revealed he is considering retiring after a brutal grind of a season that ended in a disappointing Finals loss at the hands of the dominant San Antonio Spurs.
Allen has been a superb marksman for the Miami Heat, but suffered career-lows this season in PPG (9.6) and shooting percentage from beyond the arc (37.5 percent). Even in this recent rematch of the Finals, Allen was extremely ineffective in what was a crucial Game 5 for the Heat, hitting just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Now, this may sound blasphemous, but the Heat will be better off without Allen next season. Yes, he is a 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, but how Allen is aging with his game doesn’t fit the Heat’s long-term blueprint for success. What the Heat will be focusing on this offseason, and presumably for the near future, is drafting or trading for young, athletic players who can defend well and create offense on their own. These attributes will especially be demanded of their wing and guard players.
If keeping LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami is the No. 1 priority, Allen retiring is a huge first step in fixing the roster for the long term. Allen can no longer defend other guards effectively, which can make his presence on the court a catch-22. Due to his age, the negatives are beginning to outweigh the positives on the court, and his retirement would be a graceful way of accepting that.
The Heat absolutely have to look in another direction in terms of shooting guard depth, and Allen’s potential retirement will force the Heat to do so.