With less than three months to go until the start of the 2016-2017 season, rumors are still swirling regarding some of the biggest names in the league. While Ray Allen has not played in a professional basketball game since the 2013-2014 season, he is not officially retired.
At 41-years-old, it seems like a long shot that Allen would return to the NBA at this point in his life, but the latest reports are stating that he is actually gearing up for a return. In addition to the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks being potential destinations for Allen, the New York Knicks are another possibility. While the Knicks were not a good team last year, things could be looking up for next season. Additionally, film director and Knicks fan Spike Lee has been recruiting Allen to take his talents to New York this season, as the Hartford Courant reports.
Spike Lee Is Recruiting Ray Allen To Play For The Knicks https://t.co/B1RifJbBcs— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) August 7, 2016
While most older players are looking to join teams that have a chance to win a championship, Allen just wants to get back into the NBA. In speaking to the Hartford Courtant, he speculated on the possibility of returning to the Celtics or Bucks. He also stated that helping out the young talent is an important factor in a potential return.
“I would love going back to those places if it worked out because both teams are good, too. It doesn’t necessarily have to be championship-or-bust for me to go back to the NBA. I want to be in a situation where I thought I could help, play a little bit and help where they have good young talent.”
Even though the Celtics and Bucks both have some interesting young players, the Knicks may have the one with the most potential in center Kristaps Porzingis. At only 21-years-old, the 7-foot-3 big man is looking to take another step in his sophomore season. While the Knicks were reportedly interested in Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor in last year’s draft, they ultimately had to settle for Porzingis. Comparing their rookie seasons, it appears as though the Knicks may have gotten the better of the two in Porzingis with the No. 4 overall pick.
When asked about the Knicks, Allen mentioned that Lee has been texting him recently.
“Spike Lee has been trying to recruit me. We’ve been texting.”
While Lee is just a fan, he actually has a history with Allen. Before Allen became a star and one of the most feared three-point shooters in the entire NBA, he starred in the 1998 film He Got Game. Lee wrote the film and was the director, so he is very familiar with Allen.
As Hoops Hype reports, the Knicks currently have 14 players under guaranteed contracts. In order to sign Allen to a guaranteed contract, it would have to be for the veteran’s minimum. Even a few years ago, Allen would likely have scoffed at the idea of signing for the veteran’s minimum. It appears things are different now.
Allen is no longer in his thirties and trying to win a championship with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Allen is no longer an athletic young man that can score from anywhere on the court and make three-point shots as good as anyone else in the NBA. Allen is nothing more than a bench player at this point, and he would not likely play more than 20 minutes per game.
Regardless, Ray Allen has 18 years of experience in the NBA, and he could be a valuable addition to a team that is looking teach its young players to play the right way. Whether or not it happens remains to be seen, but it would be interesting seeing Ray Allen as a member of the New York Knicks, even if it is a decade late for Knicks fans.
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