After announcing his retirement from the NBA, Ray Allen has opened up about offers he received the past two years. Among the many offers, the Houston Rockets was one that intrigued the Hall-of-Famer the most.
Two weeks ago, Ray Allen sent shock waves around the league as he announced his retirement from the NBA.
The two-time NBA Champion, ten-time All-Star, and the all-time career leader in both regular season and playoff three-pointers made with 2,973, more than anyone one to date. Allen has established himself as one of the greatest players that ever stepped on the hardwood floor.
From his rookie days in Milwaukee to his seasoned years in Miami, Allen has always displayed his love and passion for the game throughout his 18-year career.
Even though Allen’s announcement came two years after his final game, teams around the league never gave up on a comeback by the NBA’s most prolific shooter.
What was the right situation for Allen? He explained it was a combination of factors: offer, playing time, ability to help a team compete for a championship, playing for a coach who didn’t wear players out through grinding practices and family considerations. Houston made an enticing offer in 2014, Allen said. But the deal – the full mid-level exception according to a person familiar with the situation — wasn’t enough to lure him into another season.
Hypothetically thinking, if Allen would have signed in Houston that summer, could he have been the missing piece to a Rockets championship season?
Not sure about the grinding practices nor family considerations, but at that time Houston would have been a perfect destination for Allen. Behind MVP candidate James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets were one of the elite contenders in 2015.
The Rockets won 56 games and advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1997. However, it is in this series against the Golden State Warriors where Allen would have been beneficial in Houston.
In reality, Houston fell 4-1 to the eventual champs thanks to their solid performance on the defensive end. Unlike the Mavericks and Clippers, the Warriors defense made it a miserable series for Harden and Howard. Golden State’s defense forced Houston’s role players to step up on the offensive end as their two stars struggled offensively.
However, if Allen was a part of this Rockets team, he would have been a solid contributor to their offense.
Sure, Allen was no longer the offensive juggernaut that made him Jesus Shuttlesworth with the Bucks or SuperSonics. Yet, he managed to stay relevant during his twilight years as a perimeter threat for few championship teams.
During the 2013 NBA Finals, Allen’s 10.6 points per game as Miami’s sixth man was enough to help the Heat win their second consecutive title.
So if Allen could have contributed 10 or 12 points off the Rockets bench, Houston could have upset the 67 win Warriors in a seven-game series. Not only would the Rockets have a solid contributor off the bench, but Harden and Howard are at their best when surrounded by great shooters. And what better shooter to surround Houston’s duo with than Ray Allen?
Without a doubt, Allen would have played a significant role for the Rockets in 2015. Especially during their conference finals appearance against the Warriors.
In an event that the Rockets advanced to the Finals, Houston would have had a cake walk to their first championship in 20 years.
Certainly, any series against LeBron James is never easy. However, with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving out due to injuries. The Cavaliers would have had no chance against the Rockets and their new big three of Harden, Howard, and Ray Allen.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, Allen decided not to commit to Houston and the 2015 season is a thing of the past. However, after Allen’s comment, it has left many fans in Houston to wonder, “What If.”
Enjoy the season Red Nation and be sure to stay connected with Space City Scoop as our amazing team of writers keep you abreast of all things Houston Rockets.