It has been widely reported that former Boston Celtic Ray Allen is interested in signing with the Miami Heat, and they are just as interested in signing him.
Many Heat fans have seen this as a sign that Allen will definitely join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach next year, but it's not quite as certain as some believe it to be.
First of all, there's the financial factor. Miami can only offer Allen the mini mid level exception of $3 million, but other teams can offer him a lot more.
If Boston decides that they really want to bring Allen back (which isn't a certainty), they could offer him a much bigger contract. They have over $20 million in cap space and would easily be able to outbid the Heat.
Even if Boston doesn't jump into the fray, several other teams have cap space. Veterans like Allen are in high demand, so he will likely get a big offer from somebody.
Remember, Ray Allen already has a championship ring. It's perfectly reasonable to assume that he'd rather cash in for one last big paycheck than chase another ring. I don't know this for sure, but it's definitely possible.
Second of all, the Heat would ask Allen to come off of the bench. He's a future Hall of Famer, several other teams would gladly offer him a starting position. If Allen isn't comfortable coming off of the bench, Miami immediately falls out of the running.
Finally, plenty of other contenders will knock on Allen's door.
The Knicks would give Allen a chance to play under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, something most players are at least sort of interested in. They are also a very talented team that, while not on Miami's level, will make the playoffs.
From a basketball perspective the Clippers actually make the most sense. Allen would be the third option behind the best passing point guard in the league in Chris Paul and a dominant big man in Blake Griffin. All three have contrasting styles that would fit beautifully together.
Miami is probably the prohibitive favorite in the Ray Allen sweepstakes, but this isn't a done deal yet. Plenty of other teams are going to try to convince the Hall of Famer to play for them, and they'll be able to make convincing cases.