Brian Windhorst reports that, in addition to LeBron James, Chris Paul is now also actively recruiting Ray Allen’s services. The Clippers may be the most favorable destination for Ray for a few reasons:
1) Money: The Clippers have the full MLE available: $15 million over three years. The Celtics have offered Ray a deal of $12 million over two years, and the most the Heat could offer is $9 million over three years. So the Clippers could offer Ray an extra $3 million to buy Deepak Chopra books for his Kindle and attend TED conferences.
2) Minutes: Ray wasn’t happy when he was first demoted from Boston’s starting lineup, and there are no indications he’s happier about it now, even though the team was demonstrably better with him coming off the bench. The Clippers have long had a void at shooting guard, so Ray could start there. They’ve been reported as the favorite to sign Jamal Crawford in the last few days, but if they think they have a shot at Ray, he’s probably the priority. He’d at least give them an excuse to replace DeAndre Jordan on these billboards.
3) Style of play: Ray’s stock started to decline in Boston because he was a weak point in the Celtics’ defensive system. The Clippers do not give a spit about defense. The only closeout they’re familiar with is a fire sale at their favorite stores. Ray will actually provide a potential UPGRADE at shooting guard defense over Nick Young, who’s currently still working on recovering off a screen from Game 4 of the Western Conference Semis. (Young is also a potential free-agent target of the Celtics, which might be okay if Allen leaves because he could score as an SF off the bench alongside Terry).
Ray would also get to run with Chris Paul, one of the only PGs who could get Ray his shots as effectively as Rajon Rondo. He’d get plenty of opportunities in Miami, too, but great spot-up shooters always want to seek out pass-first teammates. Going to 14 Clipper games last season, it was pretty clear they were lacking a reliable spot-up guy to bail out Paul and Griffin’s attacks—the guy Chauncey Billups was supposed to be. They want Ray for that role, and that’s the role Ray wants. The threatening whispers of KG can’t be underestimated, but don’t be surprised if Ray ends up in red, white and blue next season.