Ray Allen choosing to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers is not a foregone conclusion. It never was. The draw is obvious: play with LeBron James and a great chance to win a title. Yet as time has gone by and the Cavs continue to pile up good player after good player, and Allen has not committed or signed with the team, it becomes less of a foregone conclusion.
Prior to today the biggest threat to the Cavs in losing Allen was retirement. Along comes the Los Angeles Clippers and Doc Rivers. Possibly a far bigger threat than retirement for the Cavs.
Allen has a history with Doc from their time together with the Boston Celtics. Doc and Allen won together and have a comfort level together. The Clippers also just moved Jared Dudley and are not as stacked as the Cavs are on the bench. So Doc chasing Allen seems like it was bound to happen:
Doc Rivers had been in contact with Ray Allen earlier this summer. Expect the Clippers to make a run at him again.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 29, 2014
It doesn’t mean the Cavs are out of the Allen race it just means the Cavs have far more competition than they may have believed. For Allen playing with James created some comfort and consistency. Playing for Doc, along side stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, would also provide a similar comfort. Not as direct as playing with James but knowing and feeling comfortable with your coach is a big thing for aging players.
David Blatt is an unknown for the entire NBA. It didn’t stop James or Kevin Love from coming to Cleveland, nor Kyrie Irving from signing an extension, but could it cost the team Allen? It is not likely but it is possible.
The Clippers recent moves seemed to be made to open up a little cap space. They forked over a 1st round pick to make those move, could they already have a commitment from Allen or are they just hoping?
Allen signing in Cleveland or not likely would not be the deciding factor between a championship and not. Yet adding a solid veteran who can shoot and who understands the game could do nothing but benefit the team. Unfortunately Doc Rivers has stuck his nose in the Allen business and could cause a problem for the Cavs. After this off-season of miracles it won’t likely make a ripple either way.
Do you think the Clippers are a threat?