Ray Allen, Nick Young

Ray Allen chase involves Celtics, Heat, Clippers, Grizzlies


Ray Allen may be 36 and have to have off-season ankle surgery after fighting through bone spurs all playoffs long, but that’s not slowing teams down much.

The chase for Ray Allen seems to be a four team race, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com — Boston, Memphis, Clippers, Miami.

It really comes down to what Ray Allen wants most.

Boston is offering two years, $12 million (total, $6 million per year), which is more than any other team. They also offer familiarity, teammates he has a bond with and a side that thinks they a chance to contend (you can decide for yourself if the Celtics can make another run like the one they just had, I’m not sold). The question here: Is Allen willing to accept the sixth man role full time and come off the bench behind Avery Bradley?

Miami can only offer $3 million per year, the lure there would be a chance at a ring. The Heat just won one and we saw in Game 5 of the finals what that team looks like if guys are knocking down threes. Hard to say if he would start (you would have to go very small and shift Dwyane Wade to the small forward spot) but Allen would get plenty of minutes.

The Clippers are in the market for a starting two guard (they are talking about bringing back Chauncey Billups but he will not be all the way back from his Achilles injury). And they can offer the $5 million full mid-level exception. The Clippers have Chris Paul as a floor general and Blake Griffin, they are an up-and-comer in the West, but is that enough?

Memphis also is looking for a two guard and can offer the $5 million mid-level. The show in Memphis still runs through Zach Randolph on offense, with Rudy Gay option No. 2. Does Allen want to see how he fits in that mix? O.J. Mayo didn’t like it.

Smart money has Boston as the team to beat in this race, but in free agency just about anything can happen.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
Leave a comment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.