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A Word on Hometown Discounts & Does Ray Want More Rest?

AP

It’s been a tough couple days for Ray Allen, as he has faced a barrage of questions about his future with the team after one unsubstantiated trade rumor. Allen, the consummate professional, has taken all of the inquiries about his future and his role with the team in stride. He spoke to the media at length yesterday after practice, fielding questions about everything from hometown discounts to how he would feel if traded.

Before we go any further, let me just say I hate people asking athletes about taking hometown discounts, especially these days. Ray Allen has made it clear he enjoys Boston a lot and has said repeatedly he would love to retire here. Is there a chance he will take a hometown discount to make this happen? Absolutely. That being said, how can anyone expect him to come out and say that at this point in the final year of his contract, when:

A) It’s common knowledge he is going to have his salary cut in at least half from the 19 million he’s making this year during his next contract.

B) He is a shooter who is having one of his worst seasons ever offensively in pivotal categories (3 pt shooting being one).

With these realities in place, Ray’s agent would probably go crazy if Ray made any kind of further indication that he would be willing to take a hometown discount. The truth is, if Ray’s numbers stay consistent, he is going to have very little leverage in negotiations next year with the C’s or any other team.

He will be 35-year-old shooting guard with his shooting numbers sharply on the decline. Combine this with the hoards of free agents that will undoubtedly hitting the market next year, and it will be hard for Ray to get anything close to a big payday (more than the mid-level exception) if he wants to play for a contender. Given this, the C’s will likely be the team in best position to give him a more reasonable offer since they will have his Bird rights and can offer him more despite being over the cap.

If Ray acknowledged he would be willing to take a discount to stay in Beantown, it would be giving more leverage to the C’s in any negotiations this offseason, as well as potentially fueling public sentiment against him if he goes back on those words. A losing scenario anyway you dice it for the sharpshooter. So for now, let’s lay off the hometown discount stuff. Some thoughts on Ray’s other comments from practice yesterday, after the jump

In the middle of Ray’s media session yesterday, Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald asked a question about Ray accepting a reduced role in future years, whether it be with the C’s or another team. Here is the excerpt of his response in the Herald:

Allen should be a simple re-signing for the Celtics. He wants to return, will play for a contract worth far less than the one he has now, and will embrace a reduced role if asked.

“Have you ever known me to worry about being in the game or playing less minutes?” he said. “I’ve always said I would love to see Tony Allen play more. I would love to see Marquis (Daniels) in there playing more minutes. It means a great deal to this team.

“At this point, what I’m making now, I made a great living throughout my career,” he said. “I know going into next year I won’t make the money I’m making now. I know that.

A classy response by Allen as would be expected. Judging by the way number 20 looked when he fielded the question Ray seemed genuinely perplexed, if not miffed by the suggest he wouldn’t be willing to accept that kind of role. In fact, take a closer look at that response. He wants Tony and Marquis (presumably when healthy) to play more.

I’m not a psychologist, but I feel as if there was an indirect message being sent with those comments. Doc talks all the time about giving Ray and Paul additional rest, but as seen by their minute totals this year, he clearly fails to deliver on those promises, mostly out of necessity to keep the C’s winning despite the plethora of injuries. We have dove into those arguments many times on this website, so no need to go any further here.

I guess the bigger point I’m trying to make here is I think Ray doesn’t think people are realizing just how much he is sacrificing now for this team by playing 36.5 minutes a game as a 34-year-old. Would he accept a reduced role in the future? Of course he would, I think he would gladly take one now if it brought his minutes down to 25-30 a game. That kind of minute reduction would probably go a long way in improving his numbers across the board, which have taken a major hit this year.

Ray has always been in terrific shape and the ultimate player. However, Doc’s tendency to lean on him this year with the rest of the team in turmoil may be a bit too much for the 34 year old to handle this year. The guy is 6th in career minutes out of all active NBA players and 39th overall in career minutes out of all NBA players. This year he has finally shown his first major signs of wear and tear. I plead with you Doc, the second half of this season, listen to Ray and most importantly listen to yourself. Bring Ray’s minutes down. It will only make this team more dangerous come May and June.

  • Sam

    I’ve been thinking for a while now that all these minutes are taking a tole on Ray.So I hope once Daniels is back he can see a reduction in his minutes.

  • DRJ1

    TA could and should take some of his minutes, even tho they have different roles out there. Daniels obviously, when he gets back. Ray’s 40+ games have to stop.

    A few tweaks:
    – Ray is having a good year in terms of FG%, despite his poor 3Pt%, and despite all the PT Doc’s hammering on him. His FG% is actually a bit higher than his career average.
    – Ray’s 3Pt% has been relatively low… relative to himself in past years. But it’s not absolutely horrible at 34%, and in view of his career average (near 40%), we can expect it to rise, hopefully soon… certainly when his minutes get more reasonable.
    – Ray’s D has been good to excellent. Team D has done well this season when he’s been on the floor.
    – Ray has worked hard than anyone else on the team, except maybe Rondo… with no sign of wear and tear. Pretty amazing.
    – Ray has had a tendency to too many TOs this season… even going back to last season. Like Paul, he must stop trying to dribble through 2 or 3 defenders. And unlike Paul, Ray’s passing is also highly suspect. He’s no Rondo. In the past few games, it has looked like he’s realizing this: TOs are way down. Let’s hope that continues.

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  • Jason

    Ray, I think, presents a very interesting case study to look closer at some conventional wisdom (CW). CW says that a perimeter player like Ray isn’t banging bodies, driving, getting hacked, hitting the floor, etc. so his minutes aren’t hard minutes. But on the offensive end, who runs around more than Ray. Rondo dribbles up high, Perk and KG park themselves on the elbows and Pierce does some slithering wherever. And what’s Ray doing? He’s running side to side to side, weaving, cutting, curling more than a wide receiver does to shake his man. We know Ray’s probably the most fit 34 year old in the world, but c’mon, it’s got to be damn exhausting. Then he’s got to go defend a guy doing the same thing to him.

    So, on one hand, I can understand why he doesn’t like the 40+ minute games, but it still seems he doesn’t need to be a limited minute player. He’s plenty fit to play normal minutes, just not crazy minutes. The other reason I think limited minutes would hurt is his combination of perimeter game and selflessness. Some games he doesn’t get 10 shots off as is. How’s his game going to stay sharp when maybe he gets 10 shots in 3 games? House gets his shots no matter how many minutes he plays, but Ray’s more patient. He won’t just jack em up mindlessly. He could easily play 25 minutes and take 3 shots. (Btw, this is not an indictment of House’s shot selection or frequency. Volume shooting is what both he and the second unit need.) You know, though, if Ray comes off the bench, and is essentially the man again, someone the offense onus is on, and he’s playing against second-stringers, maybe he’ll return to being Seattle Ray, the one who did more than just jack occasional 3s.

    And that’s not even everything that’s interesting about Ray’s game and its future.

  • shit stop making excuses for these guys, im tired thats why i cant make a shot, this is halarious. he hasn’t done anything all year. just answer me this question, have you ever heard lebron and koby or chris paul cry im tired i playtoo many minutes thats why i stink. those guys get it done every night no matter what happens. yet paul can only have a few good games a month. this guy cant even score 25 points on a good night now. and ray ray damn man make a freaking shot. garnett please less mouth now and rebound, were not the champs anymore, can someone make a free throw lol are we really gonna beat the best teams playing like this. so everyone along with doc stop the freaking excuses about minutes, if you blow some of these scrubb teams out instead of struggling with every team you get rest!!!

  • Tom

    Ray’s D stinks this year, people were blowing by him left and right. It’s been a rough year for him, but he will bounce back.

  • Cool Hand Luke

    bubbs, it’s not an excuse- this is looking for ways to use players more effectively. Given how well ray does with the bench unit, using him with them more seems reasonable.

  • Bubbs, the one thing about your statement that you aren’t keeping in mind with the players that you’ve mentioned is age. At 25, you should be able to run all day and bring it. You are almost at your pique physically. But to expect that same level of production from someone a FULL DECADE older is asking much. Mike didn’t bring it @ 34 like he did @ 24. Why would we expect a pure Jump Shooter to bring it in Ray?
    Since Ray’s game is predicated on his legs, being tired can certianly explain the difference in shooting percentage. Not as much lift when he jumps will have a HUGE effect on his jumper.