Ray Allen will not play this season, as he says in a statement released through agent Jim Tanner and the Tandem Sports and Entertainment agency. He’s not ruling out a return for 2015/16 but adds that he’ll take rest of this season and the offseason ahead to decide about that, suggesting that it’ll again be a long wait before we know if, much less where, Allen will play again. The 39-year-old has languished as the most sought-after free agent since the start of training camp, though the Cavs, long the front-runner for the friend and former teammate of LeBron James, recently appeared to drop out of the running. They were one of of 14 teams who expressed serious interest, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
“Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me,” Allen said in the statement. “I’ve ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I’m going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015/16 season.”
The Grizzlies, too, appeared no longer to be in the Allen sweepstakes as of this weekend, not long after executives around the league reportedly began losing faith that he’d sign. The Warriors, Wizards, Spurs, Heat and Hawks were keeping in touch with Allen’s camp as of early February, and Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers said at about that time that he’d recently spoken to him.
Just about every playoff-bound team reportedly reached out to Allen at some point this season. The Wizards were apparently the most aggressive suitor as of January, though LeBron visited Allen’s home in Miami to woo the sharpshooter while the four-time MVP was in town for rehabilitation.
The Bulls were another suitor, though a trip he made to Chicago earlier this season wasn’t basketball-related, Tanner said. Tanner batted down reports that indicated his intentions regarding one team or another all throughout the process that began when he became a free agent in July. Allen said over the summer that it would take a “perfect storm scenario” for him to play this season, and he pointed to a desire for a veteran coach and more than the minimum salary.
Allen was seemingly leaning toward retirement in late December, though he indicated during the middle of last season that he wasn’t planning to retire so soon. If he doesn’t return, he’ll walk away as the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made and career earnings in excess of $184.356MM, according to Basketball-Reference.