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At age 39, with over 18 years of experience under his belt, sharpshooter Ray Allen remains in high demand from NBA teams.
Former Miami HEAT teammate LeBron James is aggressively pursuing Allen, hoping that he will bring his veteran experience and shooting to Cleveland. Last season, Allen averaged 9.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and two assists per game, and shot 44.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond-the-arc.
While Allen is not the athlete he once was, and his three point shooting percentage dropped off significantly from the three prior seasons, he is still one of the most dangerous threats from distance in the league. For a young Cleveland team that is looking to compete for a championship next season, the addition of Allen would be significant.
However, as Allen stated, he has already accomplished a great deal in his 18-year career. Allen has won two NBA championships, is a 10-time All-Star and is the all-time leader in three-pointers made. Allen won’t come back unless it is clear that he has a great opportunity at winning one more championship. With the Cavaliers in the middle of negotiations to bring Kevin Love to Cleveland to play alongside Kyrie Irving and James, Allen may eventually opt to give it one more shot. However, as of now it seems that Allen is perfectly content with the thought of calling it a career.
Since Paul George’s gruesome leg injury on Friday, there has been a collective questioning of whether the NBA should continue to allow its star players to participate in international competitions. Late Sunday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent out an email stating that he does not “anticipate a major shift in the NBA’s participation in international competitions.”
This statement won’t satisfy NBA owners like Mark Cuban, who on Saturday voiced his frustration with the NBA’s current relationship with FIBA and the International Olympic Committee.
“The [International Olympic Committee] is playing the NBA,” said Cuban to ESPN on Saturday. “The IOC is an organization that has been rife with corruption, to the point where a member was accused of trying to fix an Olympic event in Salt Lake. The IOC [pulls in] billions of dollars. They make a killing and make Tony Soprano look like a saint.
“The pros in multiple sports are smart enough to not play when they are eligible free agents. But teams take on huge financial risk so that the IOC committee members can line their pockets.
Cuban is right that the owners take a major risk when their players volunteer their time and effort toward playing for the USA National Team. George’s recent injury provides a shocking image to illustrate Cuban’s position, which he has publicly maintained since 2012.
However, there are benefits to participating in these competitions for the players and owners as well. Several players from the 2008 Olympic squad, which won the gold medal, credited the international experience with major strides in their games. The chance to travel with and study the daily routines and training techniques of players like Kobe Bryant was invaluable to players as talented as even LeBron James six years ago. In addition, these tournaments are a great way for the NBA to showcase its brightest stars internationally and grow the league brand (and the players can benefit from the exposure as well).
Still, the issue for the NBA and its owners comes down to money. The NBA will eventually try to negotiate a TV deal with FIBA that will make these competitions more lucrative for NBA owners, providing teams with more incentive to allow their stars to participate in these competitions. Yet, as of now there is no easy answer to addressing this complicated issue. For now, according to the Commissioner, it seems likely that the status quo will be maintained, even after the unfortunate injury to George.
Since virtually the moment LeBron James announced that he would be returning to Cleveland, there has been speculation that the Cavaliers would trade number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins for star power forward Kevin Love. Most recently, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press: “I’m saying it’s (trading Love) most likely because Kevin has made it pretty clear that that’s what he wants to do.”
This is the first time that Taylor has acknowledged that Love will likely be moved before the start of next season.
In spite of this, Wiggins and his advisers maintain that the Cavaliers have not indicated that he will be traded and are moving forward on the assumption that he will be with the team next season. However, the common belief among league insiders is that the deal will be made eventually and that there is no scenario where Wiggins is not included in the deal.
Wiggins cannot be included in a deal officially until August 23, which is 30 days after he signed his rookie deal with the Cavaliers. It is possible that before August 23 that other teams like the Golden State Warriors or Chicago Bulls could make last minute proposals to pluck Love out of Minnesota, but that is considered a long-shot at this point.
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