HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — LeBron James has abandoned the subtle approach in identifying the next veteran he’d love to see join the Miami Heat’s quest for a repeat championship next season.
With his son Bryce serving as the perfect accomplice, James took to Twitter during the Draft to court one-time rival Ray Allen, the soon-to-be free agent and former Celtics star:
While watching the Draft my son Bryce ask “Is Ray Allen gonna play for the Heat”. I said “I don’t know, I hope so”.
James probably won’t be the only superstar courting Allen this summer. Even with an injured ankle that cost Allen and the Celtics dearly in the playoffs, the future Hall of Famer will be a coveted prospect on the free agent market.
With the Celtics apparently searching for a younger replacement (O.J. Mayo?) at shooting guard, Allen should listen to the recruiting pitches of James and others (the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns, run by Allen’s former agent, Lon Babby, are also rumored to be among the teams preparing to court him). Allen’s emotional departure from the Celtics after their Game 7 loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals was a fitting tribute from one of the classiest players the league has seen and probably had Celtics fans choked up a bit.
But the sight of him in a Heat uniform will surely get the blood boiling in a different direction. Allen could slide into the role that Mike Miller is expected to vacate this summer, if he retires. And the Heat have never been shy about pursuing big names in free agency.
The Celtics have free agency issues of their own to deal with, including a reported Saturday decision from Kevin Garnett on whether he will retire or come back for another year. (While Doc Rivers was enjoying the draft as a dad alongside his son Austin, the Celtics were busy drafting their potential frontcourt of the future in Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo).
The future for Allen, however, is still very much up in the air. There is a chance he could return to the Celtics. There seems to be just as good a chance of him taking his talents to South Beach to join an old rival!