With LeBron James signing a four-year, $154 million contract, the Los Angeles Lakers have once again established themselves as an attractive destination for free agents.
Armed with the best player in the NBA and the second-largest market in the United States, the Lakers will have a projected $38 million in salary cap space for 2019 free agency which features Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson.
While all of the attention will be on signing another All-Star player, it is important to not discount those who are willing to take a pay cut for an opportunity to win a championship.
Ray Allen, who was recently inducted into the 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, discussed on “The Dan Patrick Show” what it would take from James and the Lakers for him to come out of retirement:
Dan Patrick: “Could you play right now?”
Ray Allen: “Yeah.”
Patrick: “Any interest?”
Patrick: “You passed a little bit.”
Allen: “Well, because I could doesn’t mean you have to. But at the same time, when you get to the other side of it and manage to escape anything major issue-wise, it’s a huge win.”
Patrick: “What if LeBron called you?”
Allen: “I think at this point there’s so many other things that come into play. Because an older player you can’t just come and show up. You have to put a lot of work in. And then, you’ve got to really play. The sitting down, getting back up, sitting down, that’s what does you the most damage.”
Patrick: “So if LeBron calls, then you would just say, ‘Thank you, not interested.’?”
Allen: “ Yeah. I mean, you’ve got to throw the kitchen sink at me to at least get me to think about it.”
Patrick: “What if he throws the sink at you? What if he throws two sinks at you?”
Allen: “Then we think about it. Then we think about it, because two sinks is two sinks.”
Patrick: “So if I get $8 million for you, one year?”
Allen: “I mean, that’s good money, but…”
Patrick: “$10 million?”
Allen: “We’re starting to think about it.”
Through all of the battles in the Eastern Conference, Allen signed with the Miami Heat and teamed up with James during the 2012-13 NBA season. While Allen’s decision created conflict with his former Boston Celtics teammates, he was the reason why the Heat ultimately defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals.
As Allen retired the following season, he has previously flirted with the idea of returning to the court. However, at 43-years-old and cementing himself as one of the best three-point shooters of all-time, it is difficult to see him pursuing a comeback at this stage of his life.