WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — While many NBA teams have contacted veteran free agent Ray Allen, the Wizards have been the most aggressive team in pursuit of the 39-year-old’s services, according to Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com.
Despite LeBron James reaching out as well, reuniting with former teammate Paul Pierce in Washington could be an appealing move for Allen, who has not signed with a team since Miami was defeated by the Spurs in the NBA Finals last season.
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League sources say that the Wizards have been checking in constantly to see what Allen is thinking or if he’s any closer to a decision. They have been pitching their situation and making it clear that they’d love to sign Allen and reunite him with his former Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce.
Washington wants to take a huge step forward this year and contend for a championship. They feel that Allen would really help them do that. Pierce has already helped the young Wizards with his leadership and experience, and adding Allen would give the team another champion to listen to in the locker room.
The Wizards are 29-14 on the season. The Cavaliers are 23-20. The Clippers (29-14) and Warriors (34-6) have also reached out to Allen, according to Kennedy.
“If he goes to Golden State, how much is he really going to play there? If he goes to Cleveland, what’s his role going to be? Washington can guarantee a lot of minutes for him off the bench, and I think that’s a big factor in this,” Kennedy told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Friday. “It’s one thing to go win a championship sitting on the end of the bench; it’s another to be a part of a team and play a significant role on a deep playoff run. …
“The fact that they are going after Ray Allen and trying to go all-in on this season says that they believe they can win it all this year, and I think part of that confidence comes from the fact that the Eastern Conference is just wide open.”
Allen averaged 44.2 percent from the field, and 37.5 percent from three-point range in 73 regular season games in 2013-14. Last postseason, he averaged 41.3 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from beyond the arc.