One of the biggest free-agent targets this off season will meet with the Miami Heat on Thursday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, ESPN reports. Ray Allen, who turns 37 this month, is expected to shop around his free-agency and see where he feels best fit.
The Boston Celtics, where Allen has spent the last five seasons, are able to make a better offer, a two-year, $12 million contract, but the aging Celtics are a becoming less appealing for Allen, who seeks his second championship. The Miami Heat can offer him just over $3 million a year, but they make a very tempting case having just won the NBA title only a few weeks ago – having LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh doesn’t hurt either.
Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers talked about his certainty on whether or not Allen would return to Boston in a radio interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday, stating:
“I don’t know,” Rivers said. “We’re working hard. He has a lot of options and that’s the bad news for us. It’ll be interesting. I wish I had a feel on it. Usually I do. But I can tell you in this one I don’t.”
There are plenty of other options outside the Heat and Celtics for Allen, too. The Memphis Grizzlies have offered a two-year, $5 million deal that is the max mid-level exception they can make. The Clippers are also prepared to offer Allen a full mid-level exception and, if they landed a deal, would likely use Allen as a starter.
Other teams that have shown interest in Allen include the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, who just traded their six-time all-star Joe Johnson, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Allen’s agent, Tony Dutt, spoke about the teams that he and Allen are looking at:
“I’ve talked to the Heat several times, and we’ll continue to talk to them,” agent Tony Dutt told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Monday. “We’re just looking at all of the options at this point and we’re going to sit down later in the week and figure out the top three or four spots that make sense and then he may visit those particular spots.”
Although the Boston faithful would hate to see their beloved Allen go to Miami, the move would make sense. Miami’s offense thrived in the playoffs when they surrounded LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with shooters Mike Miller, Shane Battier and James Jones. It is up in the air whether of not Miller will return next season due to back and foot issues.
Allen, the league’s all-time leading three-point shooter, has made at least 100 three-pointers in 15 of the 16 seasons he has played in the NBA. He has a career-leading 2,718 three-pointers made in the NBA.