The Bulls are believed to be among almost a dozen teams to have contacted free agent Ray Allen and his representatives, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Plenty of teams have probably reached out to the guard’s camp, but this is the first we’ve heard of Chicago putting a call into his people.
The Bulls could make sense for Allen on a few different levels. The veteran was coached by Tom Thibodeau in Boston, so there’s a pre-existing relationship between the two. Also, the Bulls are probably the only significant contender pursuing Allen who do not have a true starting two guard. Jimmy Butler is slated to start at shooting guard but Chicago might prefer to move him to the three, start Allen at shooting guard, and move Mike Dunleavy Jr. to the bench.
Allen, who pretty much has the pick of the litter amongst NBA contenders, has been in contact with a number of teams including the Cavs and Clippers. The Wizards were added to the mix with a report last week indicating that the club reached out to Allen soon after free agency got underway. J. Michael of CSNWashington.com wrote that Allen likely would be willing to accept a minimum-salary deal and Smith hears the same. Most clubs only have the minimum to work with but the Spurs are one team with the full $5.305MM mid-level exception at their disposal.
Allen is coming off of the worst season of his career statistically but he’s still a dangerous threat from the outside and could serve as a strong veteran presence for a top team. The 39-year-old averaged less than double figures for the first time with 9.6 PPG and also shot 37.5% from beyond the arc, down from ~42% the season before. Allen could come back to the hardwood in an effort to play more like his old self or he could opt to retire instead. In a poll last month, nearly 85% of you said that Allen would play in 2014/15.