Ray Allen has exercised his 2013/14 player option and will return to the Heat, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (via Twitter). Earlier this afternoon, we heard that Allen was expected to remain in Miami one way or another. Rather than opting out and negotiating a new deal, the 37-year-old sharpshooter will simply play out the final year of the contract he signed last summer.
Now that Allen has opted in, all four Heat players with options are set to return to the team for '13/14. James Jones and Rashard Lewis also picked up their respective player options, while the Heat exercised Mario Chalmers' team option.
Allen's player option is worth approximately $3.23MM, adding another guaranteed contract to Miami's books for next season. The team's projected salary now sits at over $85MM, a figure that doesn't include Jarvis Varnado's non-guaranteed contract or Chris Andersen's cap hold.
Ray Allen's player option is one of the few remaining option decisions we haven't heard about one way or the other this week. While there's an expectation that Allen will opt out, Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida hears from a source that the veteran shooter is unlikely to leave the Heat.
"Both sides want to make it happen," said the source, referring to Allen remaining in Miami.
Allen's 2013/14 option is worth about $3.23MM, but if he were to opt out and re-sign with the Heat, he could get a slight raise on that figure. Allen's Non-Bird rights would allow him to sign for up to 120% of his previous salary, meaning he could get a new starting salary worth up to about $3.71MM if the Heat were willing to accommodate that.
If he were to opt out, Allen could also potentially secure another multiyear deal — Tomasson suggests that it wouldn't be a surprise for the Heat to re-sign the 37-year-old to a two-year contract, which would allow him to recoup some of the money he gave up when he turned down a more lucrative offer from the Celtics last summer.
4:32pm: The Heat have officially picked up their option on Chalmers, according to a press release from the team.
11:27am: The Heat will exercise their option to bring back Mario Chalmers for the 2013/14 season, team president Pat Riley confirmed today to reporters, including Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Twitter link). Once the club formally picks up the option, Chalmers will be in line for a guaranteed $4MM salary in the final year of his contract.
Word came in yesterday that James Jones and Rashard Lewis have exercised their respective player options, so with Chalmers on board as well, that ensures that 12 members of this year's NBA champions remain under contract for next season. Ray Allen has a player option to decide on, while Chris Andersen and Juwan Howard will be unrestricted free agents.
Riley addressed Allen's and Andersen's situations, telling reporters that the team loves the Birdman and would like to have him back next year (Twitter link). Riley also confessed he doesn't know what Allen will decide, indicating the club will have to wait until the end of the week to find out, though he hopes the veteran sharpshooter will return (Twitter link).
Speaking generally about free agency, Riley downplayed the likelihood of the Heat being too involved, or even using their mini mid-level exception, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). The team is more likely to try to "cannibalize the market" in August and September, says Riley (Twitter link via Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald). The team president also suggested that the Heat are unlikely to amnesty Mike Miller this summer, according to Tomasson (Twitter link).
With the deadline for international prospects to withdraw from the draft coming up in a matter of hours, Mouhammadou Jaiteh remains undecided on whether or not he'll keep his name in, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. As fellow HoopsWorld scribe Steve Kyler writes, Jaiteh is seeking a first-round guarantee, so if he exits the draft, he was probably unable to secure that promise. You can check out today's full list of draft decisions by international prospects right here.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Assuming Doc Rivers parts ways with the Celtics, former Nets head coach and Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank may emerge as a candidate for the Boston job, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
- Kevin McHale, on the other hand, wouldn't be a candidate for the Celtics' position, since the Rockets wouldn't let him leave, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel spoke to Ray Allen and James Jones about their player options for 2013/14, which they'll have to decide on within the next couple weeks. Allen was noncommital on his decision, but Jones told Winderman he expects to exercise his, which is no surprise. Jones played only 221 minutes for the Heat in 2012/13, so he's not about to turn down a $1.5MM salary.
- The Bucks have added Nick Van Exel and Bob Bender to Larry Drew's staff as assistant coaches, according to the team (Twitter link). Drew worked with both Van Exel and Bender in Atlanta as well.
- New MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke has fired longtime Raptors employee Alvin Williams, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, who thinks the decision to fire a fan favorite who wanted to spend his career with the franchise sends a bad message.
- Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports has inquired with the NBA about the procedure for getting individuals certified as NBA agents, tweets Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal.
You could make a convincing argument that no head coaching candidate has a higher stock than Brian Shaw right now. The Pacers assistant has been linked in one way or another to all four teams currently without a head coach, and his agent Jerome Stanley tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link) that several teams have contacted Indiana about interviewing his client. While no interviews have been formally scheduled yet, Shaw intends to explore all the opportunities available to him, according to his agent (Twitter links).
Let's round up a few more odds and ends from around the Association….
- According to veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey (via Twitter), Larry Bird is meeting with Kings ownership today. Bird has been mentioned as a possible Sacramento target for the position of head of basketball operations.
- Stephen Curry tells Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer that he can't picture himself playing for any team besides the Warriors.
- New Raptors head of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is making a "hard push" to bring Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman to Toronto as part of his team in the front office, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter).
- Ray Allen remains undecided on his $3.23MM player option for next season, but will address it after the Finals, tweets Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
- Manu Ginobili hopes to see fellow Argentine Pablo Prigioni continue to play in the NBA next season, rather than returning overseas, as he tells Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I think the last time he talked to the media (on Argentine radio) he was intending to get back in the (NBA)," Ginobili said. "If he wants to, he’ll be here."
Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun believes the Raptors will pursue a power forward this summer via trade in return for Andrea Bargnani, and he advocates that Toronto go after Carl Landry, as the team is reportedly considering (Twitter links). If Bargnani is successfully dealt, he joins Greg Oden, Andrew Bogut, Dwight Howard, and LeBron James on the list of #1 picks over the last ten seasons to either eventually leave or be traded from the team that drafted them. Here are a few more tidbits to relay from the Atlantic Division:
- Raptors guard Kyle Lowry tells Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun that he's hopeful about returning to Toronto next season and wants to be back, but acknowledged that the decision is out of his hands. Ganter, who argues that the 6'1 point guard must become a 'jack-of-all-trades' player to fit Toronto's needs, also mentions that Lowry has a $6.21MM team exception for next season.
- Celtics star Paul Pierce still finds it difficult to fathom that Ray Allen left for the Heat, saying that his former teammate could have gone anywhere else – citing the Lakers as another exception – and he wouldn't have felt betrayed, says Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.
- Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com wonders why Doug Collins would want to return next season, when the 76ers may still be mediocre.
- Although P.J. Carlesimo would like to rest his key players as much as he can before the playoffs, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson aren't ready to sit just yet, writes Roderick Boone of Newsday. Williams and Johnson briefly mentioned the possibility of catching the Pacers, who are currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
Here's this afternoon's look around the Association..
- As it stands now, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel sees the Heat using the amnesty clause on Mike Miller. While the vet is a great locker room influence, it doesn't make sense for Miami to carry his contract. There's also the possibility that Miami finds a trade for Miller, but that could prove difficult.
- The Bucks never made Ray Allen an offer to return when he was a free agent over the summer, writes Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times. “I considered Memphis and Minnesota. That’s the plate I was looking at. Those were the teams that were offering me to go play for them," the guard said.
- More from Woelfel, who writes that two NBA executives who once considered UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad a legitimate top-three draft pick now have him outside their top ten. It's possible that the news that the Bruins star is actually 20 as opposed to 19 has hurt his stock.
- Dwight Howard and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni are divided on the club's offensive philosophy, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
A few notes from around the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks announced a pair of injuries today, as Kurt Thomas will miss approximately two to four weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot, while Tyson Chandler will be sidelined for a week with a small bulging disc (all Twitter links). As Howard Beck of the New York Times notes (via Twitter), with so many players injured, particularly in the frontcourt, it may be time for the Knicks to reconsider their decision not to waive Rasheed Wallace to open a roster spot for a replacement. While we wait to see if the club makes a roster move, let's check out a few more items from around the Eastern Conference:
- Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau isn't ruling out the possibility that Richard Hamilton's back injury may keep him out for the rest of the season, says K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Hamilton is under contract for $5MM next season, but only $1MM is guaranteed, so he could hit free agency this summer.
- Although Ray Allen can opt out of his contract at season's end, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel thinks Allen would have a hard time finding a better fit than the Heat for maximizing his skill set and extending his career.
- Jeff Green and Avery Bradley are looking like two pieces the Celtics can build around beyond the Big Three era, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
- Following up on news of Andrew Bynum's season-ending surgery, John Denton of Magic.com once again praises Magic GM Rob Hennigan for passing on Bynum in last summer's blockbuster trade. Hennigan's "impeccable, dead-on foresight" should ensure that the team is in good hands, says Denton.
- A pair of Nets, Joe Johnson and Kris Humphries, are among the least cost-effective players in the NBA, writes Tom Ziller of SBNation.com.