Even though he broke their hearts in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals with a series-shifting three-pointer as a member of the Miami Heat, the San Antonio Spurs have their sights set on the NBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter, Ray Allen.
Many are asking the question as to why the Spurs would chase a player like Allen when they already have Cory Joseph, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, and Marco Belinelli coming off the bench for them at the guard position.
The answer is actually pretty simple. When you have a chance at signing the best three-point shooter in the history of basketball, you go for it. Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich is already known for being a master of small-ball lineups and spacing to get his shooters wide open treys. Allen has to be tempted to sign with them considering the fact that the team still has their full mid-level exception intact, meaning they could offer him up to as much as $5.3 million. Being that the Spurs are well below the luxury tax threshold of $76.8 million, this could be a perfect situation for both the team and Allen.
This would mean that Allen would have to accept a role coming off the bench backing up Danny Green at the shooting guard position, but he did not have a problem with that before playing behind Dwyane Wade.
In terms of this actually happening, I would say the chances are pretty minuscule. If Allen does decide to play another year instead of retiring, I would think both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers have an advantage on the Spurs right now.
The Spurs’ sudden pursuit of him reminds me of when they went after Karl Malone after the Los Angeles Lakers lost in the 2004 NBA Finals, and Malone instead opted to retire due to injury issues.
But, the Spurs have struck gold in situations such as this before, such as in 2005 after they had just won their third championship and somehow landed free-agent guard Michael Finley, who had been released by the Dallas Mavericks. So it is not impossible, but, given the Spurs crowded back-court situation, Allen may look at former teammate LeBron James with the Cavs or his former coach Doc Rivers with the Clippers instead.
It is a great idea for the Spurs to go after him, if they do sign him I am sure they will find a way to making playing time work for all of their players. After all, not one player on the Spurs averaged more than 30 minutes a game last season due to the wizardry of Popovich, meaning he knows how to spread playing time out amongst all of his players.
If Allen wants to win another title before he retires, his best bet is the Spurs. It may come at an additional sacrifice for him playing-time wise, but if he did sign with the team it would make them even more dangerous and ready to do something they have yet to do, which is win titles in back-to-back years.