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NBA Rumors: Allen Leaning Toward Retirement?

Ray Allen is reportedly leaning toward retiring, Miami wants to sign Andray Blatche and more NBA rumors.

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Allen Leaning Toward Retirement?

Since the offseason, Ray Allen has made it clear that he’s unsure if he’ll play this season. Most people wrote those comments off and felt that it was only a matter of time until he signed with a contender to make one last run at a championship, but it’s possible that Allen has played his final game.

Just about every contender in the NBA has shown interest in Allen at some point, so he’ll have his pick of teams if he does decide to play. However, Allen has said that he’s enjoying spending time with his family and may decide to stay with them rather than join a team and fall back into the rigors of the NBA schedule.

The fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled could also be affecting his decision, as they were widely considered the frontrunner to land him. If Cleveland was playing at a high level and looking like a strong favorite to win the championship, perhaps Allen would join them and attempt to win one more ring. But with the Cavs struggling and not looking like a sure thing – or even the best team in the Eastern Conference – he may be hesitant to resume his career.

We’ll likely hear something from Allen one way or another in the next month or two. His name will continue to come up in rumors until he officially retires and rules out a return.

HEAT Interested in Blatche?

Once Blatche’s season with China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers concludes, a number of NBA teams will likely express interest in him. Blatche is currently averaging 29 points, 14.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.8 steals, and he has led Xinjiang to a 16-8 record, which puts them in seventh place in the CBA standings.

During his two-year stint with the Brooklyn Nets, Blatche proved that he can contribute at a high level, averaging 11.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and one steal off of Brooklyn’s bench last season.

He’s had some off-court issues and was labeled as immature, which is likely why he didn’t receive any lucrative offers as a free agent over the offseason, but it’s possible that a team will be willing to take a chance on him on a smaller deal. He’s making $2.5 million in China this season, so he could afford to sign for less when he returns to the U.S.

Plenty of NBA teams will be looking for a big man in February when Blatche is eligible to be signed, so Miami is likely the first of many teams to be linked to the 28-year-old. Blatche won’t be able to leave China to sign with an NBA team until his team’s season is over, and his team is currently poised to make the playoffs so he may not be available until mid-February depending on how deep his squad goes in the postseason.

Bryant May Return Sunday

Kobe Bryant sat out his third straight game to rest his sore body but could be back in the lineup when the Lakers return home for their next outing.

Bryant was ruled out of Friday night’s eventual 102-98 loss at Dallas, but coach Byron Scott said his star “feels pretty good about going” Sunday night against Phoenix.

via Associated Press

Kobe Bryant has been listed as probable for the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

The Lakers went 1-2 without Bryant, with their lone win coming in a shocking victory over the NBA-best Golden State Warriors. Their losses came against the Chicago Bulls in a Christmas-Day blowout and against the Dallas Mavericks in a surprisingly close game.

Lakers head coach Byron Scott has said that he may limit Bryant’s minutes once he returns, since the shooting guard has dealt with soreness in his knees, feet, back and Achilles tendons.

This season, Bryant is averaging 24.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists, but he’s shooting just 37.2 percent from the field and 27.4 percent from three-point range.

Bryant is currently one of the leading All-Star vote getters in the Western Conference and seems poised to be an All-Star starter.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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