NBA Sources: Mavs Mystery Target Is Ray Allen

Last week we speculated that the Mavs' 'mystery man' - a candidate worthy of Dallas' $2.7-mil room-MLE - should be veteran shooter Ray Allen. Just now, NBA sources tell that the Mavs agree with our speculation. Allen is indeed the target of the must-be-patient Mavs. The inside story:

The fast and furious part of NBA free agency is over. Yet the Dallas Mavericks are not done.

So why does it seem that they're sitting on their hands? now knows the target for the use of their $2.7M exception -- and now knows why the club is willing to sit so still, even as candidates like Evan Turner, Shawn Marion, Jameer Nelson and Mo Williams are being mentioned elsewhere:

None of those players were and are seen as a fit on the level of Ray Allen, the future HOF shooting guard.

Both Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson tell that the Mavs are willing to hold onto their room-MLE for later in the season. But that's not the top reason it's not being given away just yet.

Turner was never much of a candidate here (and now he's Boston-bound). has broken the story of why Dallas hasn't re-upped Shawn Marion using the room-MLE. (See that exclusive here.) We're still hearing that the Mavs like Williams and Jameer (not so much Crawford) but that those players have all been told that Dallas is "on-hold'' for now.

And Ray Allen is the reason why.

Cleveland and LeBron are courting Allen, and he and Ray are best friends. But the Cavs gave their MLE (and perhaps their designated shooter spot) to Mike Miller. Miami remains interested in a player who last year played 73 games in the regular season and all 20 postseason games, and he averaged 9.3 points per game on 41-percent shooting in the playoffs, gave them defensive size in the backcourt and provided regal leadership for the locker room.

What the Mavs know, too, is that Allen considering retirement.

"One thing is for certain, to [make a decision] on my terms is the most important thing," Allen said after the Finals. "Whether that is me retiring, staying here or going somewhere else, it will be on my terms. I've made it to this point, and I felt great that I have the choice to make it for myself."

Allen is vacationing and will likely make a decision about his future after his return. The Mavs, despite finding players like Nelson and Williams compelling, too, are compelled to wait.

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