According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
The Grizzlies have made veteran sharpshooter Ray Allen a prime offseason target and planned to contact him late Saturday night in the first step of what promises to be a strong pursuit of the NBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter.
Memphis, according to sources familiar with the team’s plans, will offer Allen its full mid-level exception ($5 million) in hopes of luring him away from other suitors — such as Miami — with only the mini-mid-level ($3 million) to spend
Well then… this is an interesting turn of events.
Yes, most contending teams will be pursuing Ray Allen as aggressively as they can. Miami has made Ray Allen a top priority as well. So Ray will have plenty of choices. This is the first I’ve heard of Memphis getting into the mix.
And this raises a question that I’ve been debating on Twitter today… how much is Ray Allen really worth?
The fact is, he’s little more than just a shooter right now. He’s a hell of a shooter, but he’s also a soon-to-be 37 year-old coming off ankle surgery who can’t dribble or pass nearly as well as he used to, and can simply guard no one anymore. As much as I hate to say it because Ray Allen has been the epitome of professionalism throughout his entire time here… $5 million a year for multiple years is too rich for my blood.
And… then there’s this…
If the Celtics are REALLY intent on getting OJ Mayo, and the Grizzlies are REALLY intent on getting Ray Allen, then we have ourselves a nice little formula for a straight-up sign-and-trade. If the Celtics want to give Mayo more than the $5 mid-level, and Memphis is willing to go higher than the mid-level for Ray Allen… then they can find a comfortable salary range that works for both teams, and one that works in the trade rules.
By the way, under the trade rules, the Celtics can send whatever Ray Allen’s salary would be, and receive 150% of that, plus $100,000 IF they are not a tax paying team. So they can take back a number much higher than mid-level in this scenario. So if they signed Ray for $6 million, they could bring back OJ Mayo at $9 million. If they are a tax paying team, they can take back 125% of the outgoing salary… which would be $7.5 million. The determination on what the rule would be whether they are under the tax level at the time of the trade.
So the Grizzlies’ interest in Ray Allen is both shocking, and possibly convenient. Stay tuned on this one.