Miami Heat: Is Veteran Ray Allen the Right Fit for the Mid-Level Exception?

Eric JohnsonCorrespondent IIIJuly 2, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 07:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics reacts in the first hlaf against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 7, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

After a championship season for the Miami Heat, they are now left with a decision of what to do with a crucial mid-level exception. Miami showed in the NBA Finals that they are more than just a "Big Three," but it's no secret that this team still has some glaring weaknesses.

With mutual interest between Allen and the Heat, it looks possible that Miami could snag the NBA's all-time best statistical sharpshooter for a bargain price. If Ray wants another title to pad his historic career, then Miami is his best shot this year.

That being said, is Ray Allen the best option for the champions?

Allen is coming off an injury-plagued season where he missed 20 regular season games and seemed like a shell of himself in the post season. However, a surgery on his problematic ankle could do the trick in helping him regain his shot.

If healthy, Allen can be a huge asset off the bench playing limited minutes for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Miami's ability to spread the floor was crucial in defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in June, but Allen would only increase the number of shooting threats from deep. 

While Allen seems like a nice fit in Miami, they also need to figure out the situation with the center position.

Will Miami commit to the offensive-minded Chris Bosh as the starting center or continue to scramble the lineup with their shallow depth size?

If Miami goes with the first option, Allen or any wing shooter makes plenty of sense. However, this is a team that only averaged 41.6 rebounds a night and were prone to being abused by elite centers.

If Bosh can continue to play the effective defense he showed in the NBA Finals against the Thunder, this decision seems like a no-brainer. With Udonis Haslem backing up Bosh, Miami will have the physical presence needed to come off the bench for an impact.

With Mike Miller having constant back issues and Shane Battier not coming alive until the Finals, Miami could use one more hand in spreading the floor for James and Wade to work.

If that's the case, then no name has more merit than a healthy Ray Allen.

The recent surgery should be a big factor in curing the woes of the 36-year-old guard. Should he be willing to take a massive pay cut, he could be one extra piece to help the Miami Heat repeat in the 2012-13 NBA season.