NBA basketball shooting guard Ray Allen, of the Boston Celtics, arrives at the 2011 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles

Report: Ray Allen interested in joining Miami Heat


Did you see what happens when the Miami Heat get someone to knock down open shots from the arc? Did you see Game 6 of the NBA finals?

Now parlay that with this news from Brian Windhorst at ESPN.

According to multiple league sources, there is mutual interest between Allen and the Heat. The most the Heat can offer is a contract starting at $3 million per year, which is known as the “taxpayer’s mid-level.” Allen could get more elsewhere, but the Heat do offer an attractive portfolio that goes deeper than cash.

They offer a good shot at a ring. While the Miami market is not that big (14th biggest in NBA) the massive amount of national exposure the team gets can mean endorsement deals. Also, warm weather and no state tax.

The Heat have some luxury tax issues to figure out going forward — they are over the tax line and will be for a couple years. Once the new “repeater tax” kicks in starting in 2014 it is going to get prohibitive to keep adding players around them (the Heat’s tax could easily swell to north of $20 million, which is on top of the payroll). They will keep the big three together, they can amnesty Mike Miller (or hope he retires), but the fact is that even adding Ray Allen for $3 million could cost much more in tax.

But for now, it’s hard to see Pat Riley not making this move. If Allen is serious. He will have offers from the Clippers, Knicks, likely Bulls and Celtics, among others. He has options. But if he’s chasing a ring… is it much of a choice?

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.