Boston Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen has been one of the team's best players this season, and his ability to keep himself in such tremendous shape at age 36 makes him deserving of another multi-year contract.
Allen recently spoke about his future with the Celtics, via Fox Sports Florida:
Allen will be a free agent next summer. When asked if he wants to re-sign with the Celtics, he offered a quick, "Yeah." Does he think he can get another multi-year deal from them at 37?
"Yeah," said Allen, in the second-year of a two-year, $20 million contract. "That's what I want."
Through six games this year, Allen is averaging 20 points per game and is shooting an amazing 61 percent from the three-point line.
The key to Allen's longevity is his conditioning and his ability to stay in amazing shape. He runs so much on the court every night with all the screens he runs through to get open, and despite all of that he still has great energy each game.
Rarely does Allen look tired or fatigued on the court. He runs through screens with just as much speed in the fourth quarter that he does at the beginning of games.
With the way he takes care of himself, Allen might be able to play at a high level for three or four more years.
"My body feels good," Allen said. "Whenever you're with a great organization, it makes it easier, and it makes it funner, and it gives me a great chance to play until I'm 40. I don't know how many guys in the history of this league have done it."
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge doesn't need to address Allen's future in Boston right now, but it should not be a hard decision for him to make.
Allen is a dependable long-range shooter who also plays good defense against top perimeter players, and even though he's an aging player, there's no reason he cannot be a starter for another few years.
Allen also makes scorers like teammate Paul Pierce's jobs much easier with the way he spaces the floor. Defenses have no choice but to respect Allen's amazing three-point shooting, which makes them hesitant when deciding to help over on players driving to the basket because doing so leaves Allen wide open for a three-point shot.
Allen has battled through many hardships during his career, including multiple knee surgeries, but he perseveres through it all and plays the game extremely hard.
Just when you start to think that Allen has lost a step, or his shooting ability is diminishing, he proves his critics and doubters wrong.
Players and coaches around the NBA have a lot of respect for Allen, who is a true professional on and off the court.
"Ray Allen can play until he's just tired of playing basketball," said James, who a week earlier watched Allen score 28 points while making 6-of-8 three-pointers against the Heat. "There's no age limit for him. He has a fountain of youth he's not telling anyone about. I tell him on the court, 'I don't know how you do it.' He looks like 25 or 26. . . He's in unbelievable condition."
Ray Allen still has years left as a very good NBA player, and the Celtics should reward him with a new multi-year contract soon, because he still has much more awesome moments to give Celtics fans before his No. 20 is retired to the rafters at TD Garden.
Nicholas Goss is an NBA Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.