It doesn’t sound like Ray Allen will leave the comforts of retirement to help out the struggling Miami Heat.
Allen played two seasons with the Heat on a rotational basis before hanging up the sneakers for good, but his name seems to always come up this time of year when contenders begin to suffer injuries or simply sniff around the idea of adding a veteran. Last year it was the Cleveland Cavaliers, this year it’s the struggling Heat, who have suffered injury after injury as of late.
According to Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald, the Heat have reached out to Allen as recently as last summer. The swerve, though, is that Allen hasn’t sounded too interested:
According to several sources, the Heat has not only had a standing offer to Allen to return to the team ever since the 2014 offseason, but it made additional overtures as recently as this summer.
Allen, however, has never bit.
This shouldn’t be all that surprising, if you were aware of his frustration during his final season in Miami, the one that ended with a five-game Finals loss to the Spurs; he made that frustration, about everything from scheduling to rotations, well enough known to Heat teammates, coaches and officials, that it has been frequently relayed to reporters (like this one) since.
There are a couple things worth noting here. For one, Allen made it pretty clear on his way out the door that he wasn’t too pleased with the organization. Fine, but the fact the line of communication has remained open after all these years says a lot, too.
The fact this is even a story speaks to what a bind the Heat find themselves in at the moment. The offense has completely collapsed without Goran Dragic running the show and other injuries piled on to make the situation worse. Miami now sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at 23-21 and have lost eight of its last 10 games.
Would Allen be the perfect remedy? Of course not, but there’s little doubt the guy who thrived over the course of 18 years is still conditioned properly and could knock down his shots while spacing the floor for others to go to work. Adding a guy who, while 40 years old, shoots 40 percent from deep is never a bad idea, even if he only joins the offense on a rotational basis.
For Allen, one has to think a potential return hinges on his ability to compete for a championship. Miami hasn’t exactly inspired confidence that the current roster can go the distance, though it would be nice if it could stay healthy. But there are other teams such as say, the Cavaliers, in need of an elite deep-corner shooter who might look attractive if Allen really wants to come back.
Regardless, this time of year sparks these sorts of conversations. It’s clear that if the Heat go calling Allen again, though, the answer might be more of the same. For now, chatter of his return can quiet and the Heat can continue to ponder what in the world to do to turn this thing back around.