Ray Allen Rumors: Superstar Will Reportedly Visit Heat and Clippers This Week
Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge may have made it clear that he wants to keep Ray Allen in Boston, but the veteran shooting guard is still giving some of the other interested parties a shot at wooing him.
Unlike Kevin Garnett, Allen isn't planning on saying "yes" to the Celtics and forgetting everyone else. The free agent, who has been hotly pursued by a plethora of teams during the first few days of this summer's window, will visit the Heat and the Clippers this week, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge.
Aldridge reports that a source says Allen will visit the Heat on Thursday and the Clippers on Friday, and he will listen to both of their pitches before making any decisions. The Heat can only offer Allen their $3.09 million mini-mid-level exception, while the Clippers will be able to offer him their full $5 million mid-level.
So here we are: Allen's decision will most likely be among the Celtics, Heat and Clippers. Despite the fact that the Celtics have offered him the most money in a two-year, $12 million deal, they haven't offered him what he really wants: a starting job.
It's no secret that Allen, who struggled with ankle injuries for much of this season and underwent surgery this summer, was unhappy when Avery Bradley usurped the starting role. There's no way the Celtics are going to put Bradley back on the bench to start the 2012-13 season, which is why Allen is entertaining offers from other teams despite the fact that they won't pay him as much.
Where will Ray Allen be in 2012-13?
Though the Heat can offer Allen the best shot at another ring before he retires, they can't give him a starting job, either.
That leaves the Clippers as the likely front runners in the Allen sweepstakes. They can't pony up as much money as the Celtics, nor have they offered Allen the security of a multi-year deal, but he could realistically start alongside Chris Paul.
Given everything that's on the table, the Clippers could give Allen the best of all worlds.
Ainge and the Celtics, as a result, will have to just sit back and wait to see what Allen really wants: money and the opportunity to make one more run at a title with the "Big Four" still intact in Boston, the best chance at another ring or one more shot at a starting job.
The Clippers may seem tempting, but my money is still on the Celtics. With all of his cohorts sticking around in Boston, it'll be too hard for Ray to walk away.
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