Ray Allen isn’t Jesus Shuttlesworth on the court anymore (although he always will be in my heart), the young prospect full of promise. He isn’t the elite, All-Star Ray Allen of Seattle anymore. He’s a role player off the bench. He played 26 minutes a game off the bench in the regular season and playoffs, shot 37.5 percent from three in the season, 38 percent in the playoffs. He’s smart and solid still.
However his skills are clearly declining at age 38.
That doesn’t mean he’s done — he wants to come back for another year, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN. By the way, he would like to do that wherever LeBron James plays.
After briefly considering retirement following the Miami Heat’s loss in the NBA Finals, Ray Allen is leaning toward returning for a 19th season in the NBA, according to sources.
Allen has a desire to continue playing alongside LeBron James, whom he developed a close relationship with during their two seasons together in Miami, whether it is with the Heat or another team. James and Allen vacationed together last week after the Heat were beaten in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.
Meaning Allen only wants to come back if he can contend. Can’t blame him there.
Allen is one of the best conditioned, most meticulous athletes in the game. Nobody wins the race with father time, but Allen can hold out longer than most. In a limited role off the bench he still has some value.
The question is money. Allen made $3.2 million last season, if he wants to make that or more I’m hesitant. But if I’m the team wherever LeBron lands at the end of this summer, and I can get Wade for a veteran minimum contract (or very close to it), I’d pull the trigger. Allen is great in the locker room and can still knock down the corner three nightly.
Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a
Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.
During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.
Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.
The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.
Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.
Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.
His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.
Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)