Boston or Miami? That seems to be the question swirling in the mind of Celtics free agent Ray Allen as he completed his meeting with the Heat and is still unsure of which team he will suit up for next season.
Free agent Ray Allen left his meeting Thursday night with the Miami Heat without giving them an answer on their contract offer, and is torn on whether to leave the Boston Celtics, sources told ESPN.com Friday.
Allen had an afternoon meeting with Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra, then went to dinner with them and other members of the team’s front office. The Heat offered Allen their mid-level exception, which starts at $3.09 million per season — or half of the Celtics’ offer of $6 million per year for two years. The most the Heat could offer is three years and $9.5 million.
The sources did not go into specifics, saying Allen is torn because remaining a Celtic is still very much an option.
Taking a step back, one can see why Allen is torn.
He is part of the “Big 3” era in Boston which netted them one NBA title but as he doesn’t have many years left in the NBA, playing for the defending champs Heat would surely give him a stronger shot at another title before he calls it quits.
Moreover, playing with a younger team and a dominant trio (Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James) can only add to Allen’s indecisiveness. With Miami, he would have a larger role in Miami than he would in Boston and has been heavily wooed James and Wade – two of the league’s premier players.
However, with Boston, staying the course and trying one more time for a title with Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce is appealing but the team recently came to an agreement to add Jason Terry to the mix which might diminish Allen’s role.
The Celtics, sources said, have their own plan for incorporating Allen into a different role that includes playing him alongside Jason Terry, who committed to sign with the Celtics earlier this week. The Boston Herald reported that Boston also has offered to include a no-trade clause in Allen’s contract, something the Heat cannot offer.
Allen doesn’t have much time left in his NBA career and with Boston aged team, he would have a better shot at a second title by joining Miami. But could the Celtics blame him for chasing a title?
Also, the Celtics will certainly be Rajon Rondo’s team next year and Boston needs players to compliment his style of play. Allen may be a physical freak but he dealt with ankle injuries last season though he still managed to average 14.2 points, 2.4 assists, and shot 45% from the three-point line and 45% from the field during the regular season in 46 games.
Also, should Allen decide to play in Boston, it could stunt the development of guard E’Twaun Moore who needs time on the court or Allen could see himself playing behind Moore in the rotation.