It looks like the Los Angeles Clippers are trying to pull one more major move before heading into training camp.
Clearing Cap Space
Three days after trading Jared Dudley for Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Raduljica, the team announced that it will be waiving both players in order to create roster and salary space. Last Tuesday, the Clippers sent Dudley and a protected 2017 first round pick to the Bucks in exchange for Delfino and Raduljica.
But in an expected move, the Clippers will use the “stretch provision” to payout the remaining contracts of Delfino and Raduljica over five years. After the move, the Clippers now have some $3.5M in cap space, which is enough for the team to sign players under the veteran’s minimum.
The trading of Dudley also left the Clippers roster with just 11 players, paving way to add one more crucial piece to their championship puzzle.
According to reports, the Clippers are seriously considering signing Miami Heat free agent guard Ray Allen. The 39 year old sharpshooter has yet to decide where he is going to play next season. Allen was being pursued by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He was expected to follow former Heat teammates Mike Miller and James Jones, who earlier this summer signed in to join King James’ Cavs. But Allen has been non-committal, saying that he wants to think harder and decide “sometime in September”.
He had previously stated that he wanted to be part of another championship team, and many were thinking that he would be joining the Spurs, Heat or the Cavaliers. But with the latest move of the Clippers, it seems that there is a new possible destination for Ray Allen’s final basketball years.
Playing for a Title Contender
The Clippers would also fit Allen’s wishes of playing for a title contender. And the Clippers are coached by Doc Rivers, the man who brought him to the Celtics. Rivers was the head coach when Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were assembled to lead the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA title. Adding Allen would be crucial as the Clippers traded Dudley who was a valuable three point weapon.
Dudley averaged 1.1 three pointers per game on .360 shooting from three point distance. But even at an advanced age, Ray Allen would be definitely a three point weapon upgrade for the Clippers. Allen averaged 1.6 three pointers per game and shots a decent .375 from the field in 2014.
More than the stats, Allen is known as one of the best clutch shooters in the game. He is best remembered for saving the Heat’s 2013 season by hitting that clutch three point shot that sent the game to overtime, where the Heat outlasted the Spurs to force a game 7. Allen is the NBA’s all-time three point leader and is still considered as one of the best three point shooters in the game today.
Adding Allen would also give a strong veteran presence in the locker room and the winning pedigree that the Clippers have long wanted. Aside from the 2008 title with the Celtics, Allen was a part of the Heat’s 2013 title squad. The Clippers are looking for a breakout year under new owner Steve Ballmer. Adding a true champion like Ray Allen would most certainly help that cause.