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NBA Free-Agency Rumors: Why the Miami Heat Should Be Wary of Ray Allen

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)
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Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2012

Another day in NBA free agency, another team passes on Ray Allen.

Multiple teams have begun contract pitches to the former Boston Celtic, only to opt for a younger, sprier option on the wing.

His former team has a verbal commitment with Jason Terry on a three-year deal, which—if finalized—could demote Allen to a seventh-man role should he return to Boston.

More recently, the Los Angeles Clippers were the latest to spurn Allen, canceling Friday's meeting with him and opting instead for volume scorers Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups over the all-time three-point leader.

See a trend here?

Allen is getting up to NBA super-veteran status and teams are taking notice.

He’s is coming off ankle surgery and turns 37 next month. That three-point stroke he’s lauded for? He shot 30 percent in the 2012 playoffs. It was clear to many that Jesus Shuttlesworth was affected by the lockout’s shortened season.

Yet Pat Riley and the Miami Heat have squared in on him as their offseason target. He visits them today in Miami.

It’s easy to see why Pat Riley has set his sights on the three-point marksman. In his 15 years as Heat general manager, Riles has always been enamored with veteran swingmen who can stroke it—Dan Majerle, Voshon Lenard and Antoine Walker come to mind.

But where does Allen fit into Miami’s master plan?

Offensively, he’ll be a rich man’s Mike Miller, who was a defensive liability throughout the playoffs. By that logic, the Heat would be better served using their veteran's minimum on a backup big to match up with the Roy Hibberts and the Dwight Howards of the NBA.

Allen, with all of his previous leg and ankle surgeries, is not an ideal fit in Miami’s Road Runner-fast transition game. Especially if the Heat want to keep to their small-ball strategy.

His presence will only take minutes away from Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier—the same Chalmers and Battier who were hitting big shots galore in crunch time.

Defensively, the jury’s out on whether Allen can even stay in front of the Jason Terrys of the NBA. In their series against Boston, the Heat were gunning at Allen, trying to exploit his injury. Talk about a Catch-22.

Miami will certainly be lucky to grab Allen at a $3 million-dollar price tag. In order to get him to play for cheap, Riley will have to make some promises. A starting spot or guaranteed minutes would likely be the bait.

In 2006, sure. In 2012, not so much.

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