Ray Allen Might Not Be Done with Boston Celtics, Despite Jason Terry Signing
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Of course, one is within his rights to assume this, given the nature of Terry as a player, but his arrival does not necessarily preclude Allen's return.
Though the team and the former Dallas Mavericks guard agreed to a three-year deal worth the mid-level exception (about $5 million per year), the Celtics maintain that they are still in hot pursuit of Allen.
“We’re still going after Ray,” a team source said to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.
Suffice it to say, having both Allen, 36, and Terry, 34, in a backcourt that already consists of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley may seem, at first glance, a bit redundant.
With Terry in the fold, do the Celtics really need Allen back?
In the words of Terry himself, "That wouldn’t hurt” (h/t Fox Sports Florida).
The Celtics currently have an offer on the table for Allen worth $12 million over two years. If he decides to accept it—and steer clear of the clutches of the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers—the Celtics would have substantial depth in their backcourt.
It would be a challenge for Doc Rivers to find sufficient minutes for Rondo, Bradley, Allen and Terry, but if there’s anyone who could manage such a potent backcourt rotation, Doc Rivers is the guy. Having a surplus of talented guards who can collectively score the ball in a variety of ways isn't exactly a bad thing.
Also consider this newfound depth as insurance against a rash of potential injuries.
Over the past three seasons, the Celtics have been wrought with injuries to their backcourt, including the likes of Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and, more recently, Avery Bradley. Having both Allen and Terry in tow will provide insurance for a potentially depleted backcourt.
Don’t forget that Terry often ran the point in Dallas and has proven to be a solid distributor, averaging nearly five assists per game for his career.
With Avery Bradley expected to be out until December while recovering from shoulder surgery, the Celtics could definitely use Allen as their starting 2-guard at the start of the 2012-13 season.
And when Bradley returns?
After last season, we’ve learned that the Celtics can never have too much firepower on their bench.
Allen is coming off of a productive season in which he averaged 14.2 points per game and shot over 45 percent from beyond the arc (a career best), while Terry averaged 15.1 points per game and shot 38 percent from three. Terry has averaged more than 15 points per game in each of his last seven seasons.
Envision a second unit consisting of Ray Allen, Jason Terry and Jeff Green, and the Celtics’ stagnant offensive bench production, which has so menacingly haunted them in recent years, won’t rear its ugly head during the upcoming NBA season—any one of those guys can be leaned on to put the ball in the basket.
The question remains: Will Allen be satisfied with a reduced roll—say, 20-25 minutes per game?
It's no secret that he was not a fan of being usurped by Avery Bradley in the starting lineup last season, and though Allen handled the move to the bench professionally, the prolific shooting guard was left yearning for more.
But don't be surprised if the re-signing of Kevin Garnett, Boston's de facto leader, entices Allen to return. There is a certain degree of solidarity and respect between the two future Hall of Famers, and the impact of such a relationship should not be overlooked.
The Big Ticket will almost certainly try to compel Allen to return to the team with which he won a championship in 2008. Oh, and a guy named Paul Pierce may throw in his two cents, too.
After all, Ubuntu is alive and well.
With the arrival of Terry, retaining Allen further ensures that the Green Machine would be up and running for yet another shot at an NBA title.
Though the league's all-time three-point leader will be mulling over offers from multiple suitors, don’t close the door on Ray Allen’s tenure with the Boston Celtics just yet—his departure may not be so imminent after all.
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