Ray Allen in hot pursuit
For the Boston Celtics restricted free agent and future Hall of Famer Ray Allen, this has been a busy off-season so far.
Teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and the Celtics have all reached out to the current leader in 3-pointers made in the NBA today.
Allen, 36, will be visiting the Heat and the Clippers later this week, as he will listen to what they can offer him at this point in his career.
The Grizzlies have been interested in Allen because they need a replacement at guard, as they did not offer a tender to O.J. Mayo and decided to let him become a free agent.
If Allen joined the Grizzlies, he would be on young team that is ready to take that next step in the Western Conference. They feature All-Star players in forwards Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, and center Marc Gasol.
The Clippers have expressed interest in the shooting guard, as they traded away Eric Gordon to acquire franchise player Chris Paul. Randy Foye started at the two position for the Clippers, but lacked the outside shot to stretch the floor.
Allen would be the ideal player for both spacing the floor and shooting the long-distance shot.
The 2011-’12 Champion Heat are always on the lookout to improve their team, as other teams in the Eastern Conference are gunning for the top spot.
Despite the excellent shooting and bench play in the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, for the most part of the regular season and in the playoffs, the Heat’s shooters were more like spectators on the court.
Shane Battier, Mike Miller, James Jones and Mario Chalmers struggled mightily with their shooting, and were very inconsistent. With a player of Allen’s pedigree, he would be the perfect compliment to team up with Lebron James in spacing the floor.
The Heat’s offer of possibly winning another title also gives them an edge over other teams, as Allen would love nothing more than to get ring number two.
Although many people around the league think that the Heat will have a chance of signing guard Allen, most believe that Allen will return to the team where he won his first ring.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge has expressed countless times that he wants to bring back Allen, and also believes that he will most likely return, as Kevin Garnett has agreed to sign a three-year extension worth $34 million.
The Celtics have been reported to offer Allen a two-year deal worth $12 million.
The only problem that would hinder Allen from signing with the Celtics or the Heat is that he wants to be starter. Allen has indicated that he was not happy when he lost his starting job to Avery Bradley, when he suffered an ankle injury that later required surgery.
Even though the Celtics roster is old and was ravaged by injuries, they were only one game away from the NBA Finals, as they took the eventual champions Heat to the brink of elimination in Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the 2012 NBA Draft, the Celtics selected forward Jared Sullinger, center Fab Melo and guard Kris Joseph to add youth to an experienced squad that should once again be a force in the tough Eastern Conference.
Allen has recorded at least 100 3-pointers made in 15 of his 16 seasons, and has continued to shoot at a high percentage from distance. Allen has made 2,718 3-pointers, who is the active leader in 3-pointers made and the most in NBA history.