Wizards reached out to Ray Allen early in free-agent process


Ray Allen was contacted by the Wizards early in the free-agent process. (Lynn Sladky/Associated Press)

Ray Allen isn’t rushing to make a decision on his basketball future. Labor Day came and went and the 39-year-old sharpshooter is still contemplating whether to retire or return to play his 19th season for another run at a title.

If Allen does decide to play another season, he has plenty of attractive suitors. Cleveland has been the destination most mentioned because of LeBron James’s return, but the Clippers, Spurs, and Mavericks have also expressed interest.

But more than four NBA teams could use the league’s all-time three-point leader, and at least one other franchise has reached out to Allen to inquire about the 10-time all-star’s services: the Washington Wizards.

Washington contacted Allen early in the free-agent process, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. CSNWashington.com first reported the connection.

Despite averaging a career-low 9.6 points last season, the shooting guard remains a legitimate threat from behind the three-point line. Allen shot 39.8 percent from behind the arc in his two seasons with the Heat. His spot-up prowess would work seamlessly with John Wall’s dribble penetration.

Adding to the Wizards’ need is the fact that backup shooting guard Martell Webster could miss some time after offseason back surgery. And the Wizards have a couple connections to Allen: general manager Ernie Grunfeld was Allen’s general manager in Milwaukee and the Wizards just signed Paul Pierce — Allen’s teammate for five seasons in Boston and a fellow veteran searching for another NBA title.

But the chances of Washington landing Allen are slim. The Wizards contacted Allen at the beginning of the free-agency period — nearly two months ago — and can only offer him the veteran’s minimum. And though Pierce could lead a recruiting charge, the Cavaliers (James) and the Clippers (Coach Doc Rivers) have their own connections to the 18-year veteran and championship-caliber rosters to offer.

Jorge Castillo writes about the Washington Wizards.
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Jorge Castillo · September 2