2014 NBA Finals - Game One

Agent for Ray Allen refutes latest report, maintains no decision has been made on whether he’ll play next season


We’ve been here before.

Once LeBron James officially declared he’d be joining the Cavaliers next season, reports of former teammates lining up to play alongside him began to trickle in.

Ray Allen was supposedly leaning toward being one of them, before the agency that represents him quickly refuted that report.

Now, here we are again.

An ESPN report on Saturday stated that Allen has told people close to him that he intends to play next season, though the specific team remained undecided. A short time later, his agent released a statement saying that no decision has been made.

From USA Today:

Ray Allen still might return for a 19th season in the NBA. He also might retire. But he has not officially made a decision yet, according to agent Jim Tanner. …

“As Ray has previously stated, he is taking this time to make a decision whether or not he will play next season,” Tanner said in a statement obtained by USA TODAY Sports. “Any reports otherwise are false.”

In reality, both reports could be true at the same time.

One says Allen has told people close to him he’ll play, the other says no official decision has been made. There’s zero incentive for anyone to go out on a limb with this story if the information isn’t accurate, and yet it’s clear that Allen isn’t ready to announce anything that would commit him fully to playing next season.

Hopefully this is the last round of “will he or won’t he” that we’ll have to play before this gets sorted out.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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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.