Keep refreshing your Twitter pages because there are still moves to be made in this tumultuous NBA offseason.
Lance Stephenson was the latest big fish to find a home, and there will likely be a reactionary signing in Indiana. What’s more, a surefire Hall of Famer is contemplating his future, and the Houston Rockets are impressed by their second-round draft pick.
With all that in mind, let’s dig into some more details.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio filled fans in on the latest regarding the sharpshooting Ray Allen and the possibility that he signs with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Free agent guard Ray Allen likely to make it known whether he'll return to NBA or retire within week, potentially by weekend, source says.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 16, 2014
Of course, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that Allen would be the third former Miami Heat teammate of James to sign with the Cavs since the King returned home. The other two were James Jones and Mike Miller, meaning there will be three-pointers raining down in Cleveland.
What should Ray Allen do next season?
Even with the recent additions, the Cavaliers are still a fairly young team. Having the veteran Allen as an experienced presence and mentor as Cleveland chases a ring would be a tremendous boost for many of the younger players.
Allen can still drain it from behind the three-point line, especially when defenders collapse on James. He has two rings, is one of the best shooting guards of all time and has absolutely nothing left to prove at the NBA level.
Why not go for another title?
*Writer's note: Rodney Stuckey and the Indiana Pacers agreed to terms after this story was written.
ESPN's Marc Stein provided an update on free agent Rodney Stuckey:
Also hearing Pacers are expressing serious interest in Rodney Stuckey to fill backcourt void created by Lance Stephenson's move to Charlotte— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 16, 2014
The Indiana Pacers are clearly looking for a replacement in the backcourt for Stephenson, and Stuckey averaged 13.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game for the Detroit Pistons last season. He isn’t as talented as Stephenson on the court, but there is also less to worry about in terms of possible distractions.
Interestingly, Stuckey has only been to the playoffs twice in his career. Were he to sign with Indiana, he would almost assuredly reach the postseason in 2014-15.
Stuckey has never been much of an outside shooter, but he can create open looks for Paul George and company with his ability to attack the rim off the bounce, which forces defenders to collapse.
Chris Haynes of Comcast SportsNet Northwest noted that the Houston Rockets have liked what they’ve seen from Nick Johnson:
Rockets like what they've seen in second round pick Nick Johnson out of Arizona and plan to ink him to three-year deal, league source says.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 16, 2014
Missing out on so many guys in the early going this offseason means there is more room on the Houston Rockets roster. Johnson appears to be the immediate beneficiary.
NBA TV analyst Isiah Thomas discussed Johnson’s impressive play in the summer league during a broadcast, via Doug Haller of azcentral sports:
They have a real player, a real find. And I don't think we're watching a one-time thing. Some players come to the summer league and they get hot, but when you go back and you watch what he did in college, this is Nick Johnson. He's a baller.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who watched the Pac-12 Player of the Year lace it up for Arizona. Johnson was a consensus First Team All-American last year and posted nightly averages of 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals. He also turned it over fewer than twice a game as a primary ball-handler and shot better than 36 percent from downtown.
Johnson’s athleticism and ability to get out in the open floor would pair nicely with James Harden in Houston.
If the Arizona product continues to impress during the summer league, he will get more than his fair chance to prove himself.
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