4:56pm: The Hawks have indeed had discussions with Allen’s representatives about coming to Atlanta, but nothing appears to be imminent at this time, Vivlamore tweets.
8:27am: The Hawks are trying to convince Ray Allen to consider signing with them when and if he decides to play in the NBA this season, though the Cavs remain the favorites to land the 39-year-old, tweets Ryen Russillo of ESPN Radio. Still, coach Mike Budenholzer, acting as the team’s GM in place of Danny Ferry, who’s on a leave of absence, said he’s reluctant to tinker with a roster that’s won 34 of its last 37 games, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.
“For us to be open to improving the group and adding more depth, with Thabo [Sefolosha] healthy or without Thabo healthy or without Thabo having this injury, it’s kind of the same mindset,” Budenolzer said. “We really like our group. You are hesitant to do anything. There is a little more opportunity for a six- to eight-week window but I don’t think it changes much if at all.”
Sefolosha, who plays the same position Allen does, is about a week into a six-to-eight-week timetable for recovery from a strained calf. Still, Sefolosha plays a much different style than the sharpshooting Allen, the league’s all-time leading three-point shot-maker. The Hawks have a full roster of 15 players signed through the end of the season, as our roster counts show, so they’d have to eat someone’s salary to accommodate Allen. Still, they have slightly more than $3MM worth of cap space to throw at the Jim Tanner client, who this past summer signaled a strong desire for more than the minimum salary should he return to the NBA this season.
Cleveland only has the minimum to give, and the same is true of the Wizards, who are reportedly Allen’s most aggressive suitor. Russillo wrote in December that he’d heard that Allen would make his decision in February, though Chris Mannix of SI.com wrote last week that people around the league increasingly believe that Allen knows the team he’d like to play for, and is simply deciding whether he wants to play at all. The Clippers, Grizzlies, Bulls and Spurs are other teams linked to Allen within the past few months. The Warriors seemed to have abandoned their earlier interest.