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Malik Allen expected to join Erik Spoelstra’s staff with Heat

Erik Spoelstra, Malik Allen

Former Miami Heat player Malik Allen is expected to join Erik Spoelstra’s coaching staff.

The Associated Press basketball writer Tim Reynolds reported on the development on June 4.

The Heat are on the lookout for a new assistant after Juwan Howard left to become the head men’s basketball coach of the Michigan Wolverines. Howard was Spoelstra’s assitant from 2013 to 2019.

Allen was on former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau’s staff this season. Prior to that, Allen served as an assistant coach of the Detroit Pistons from 2014 to 2018.

After the Timberwolves named Ryan Saunders their head coach last month, they fired assistants Ed Pinckney, Jerry Sichting, and Larry Greer. Allen was the only assistant Minnesota retained from Thibodeau’s coaching staff.

Allen was already on the Heat’s radar in the aftermath of the Timberwolves’ coaching overhaul, per The New York Times’ Marc Stein.

Allen has strong ties with the Heat organization. Miami signed him as an undrafted free agent in July 2001. He spent his first four NBA seasons with the Heat. He went on to play for the then-Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and Orlando Magic. He last played in the 2010-11 NBA season.

Once the Heat make Allen’s hiring official, he joins Dan Craig, Chris Quinn, Octavio de la Grana, and Anthony Carter on Spoelstra’s coaching staff.

Miami went 39-43 (.476) this season and missed the playoffs for the third time in the last five years. Allen should help the Heat turn things around in the 2019-20 NBA season.