Why the Boston Celtics Must Re-Sign Ray Allen
The NBA free-agency period has been an interesting one to this point.
Though there have been bigger signings and better players on the move, there aren't too many that are as crucial as the landing spot of Ray Allen.
The all-time three-point champion is coming off his 16th season in the league, and is currently in the process of deciding which team to sign with.
From the start, there were three front-runners in the Allen sweepstakes: the Los Angeles Clippers, the defending champion Miami Heat and the team he's spent the last five seasons with, the Boston Celtics.
After the Clippers cancelled their scheduled meeting with Allen this afternoon, the contest was narrowed to two.
Since LA is no longer in the mix, now more than ever, it is evident that the Celtics must re-sign the sharpshooting Allen to keep there team up to par with other title contenders in the East.
Let's take a look at the main reasons this is so...
*Stats are from ESPN.com.
His Role on the Team
It's no secret that the Ray Allen that will be taking the floor next year won't be the same player we as fans have grown accustomed to throughout the years.
Coming off the bench late in the season for the Celtics due to the play of teammate Avery Bradley, Allen saw a whole new role for the first time in his career. That role, of course, was being a sixth man.
Being one of the primary go-to guys on every team he has ever played on, Allen could have seen it as a tough pill to swallow, but he transitioned nicely. He understood that he wasn't as quick and agile as he once was, and that his numbers were falling off because of it.
However, if the Celtics hope too keep up with the other top-tier teams in the East, such as the Heat, they will need players to come off the bench for quality minutes and buckets.
With the recent signing of Jason "The Jet" Terry, one would assume that Allen's services have been replaced. That acquisition can be misleading though, because Terry will most likely be used in a flex position, meaning he can be used as either a one or a two guard.
Since Terry has the versatility to play the point, that would leave Allen his old spot of shooting guard on the second team.
There's also the possibility that he could earn his starting spot back, but as a 37-year-old, his chances of doing that don't seem likely.
The bottom line is, the team that has the best mix of starters/bench players usually wins the game. Without Allen there, Boston would have a giant hole to fill in their roster.
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Most people can recall how Boston crumbled during the 2011 season when they found out that Kendrick Perkins had been traded to Oklahoma City.
Clips of KG, Pierce and Allen were all over the place of them getting emotional when asked about the departure of big Perk.
The trade even affected their play on the court as they went from a 41-15 team, to finishing the season 15-11, giving them a record of 56-26.
Now imagine if the original "big 3" lost an actual member of the three.
Though Perkins is said to be a good guy inside the clubhouse, not one person could argue that he would be more valuable than a Ray Allen, even now.
If Pierce and Garnett were to lose their friend and longtime teammate, especially to the enemy, it would be a free fall for Boston. The lack of composure they have been known for showing at times would become a common trait for the team.
Allen brings much more to the table than just his 14 ppg. The measure of just how much won't be found out unless he packs his bag and leaves town.
For Boston's sake, it need to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen.
If They Don't, the Heat Will
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This is the biggest downfall to not re-signing Ray Allen.
If they can't manage to woo him back to Boston, all things are pointing to him signing with the defending champions. In fact, the 10-time All Star is currently in Miami for the night with plans to meet with the team tomorrow.
The one thing Boston has going for it is that the Heat can only offer the minimum mid-level offer for this upcoming season due to lack of spare change. That would have him earning roughly $3 million for the year.
Boston, on the other hand, is already prepared to outbid whatever Miami can muster up. So far it seems the C's are willing to offer a two-year deal worth $12 million. Which is just roughly more than what he made for last season alone.
The downside is that the Heat have a lot going for them. Besides the whole NBA champions thing, they also already have a star-studded roster complete with two of the best players in the game in LeBron and D-Wade.
The Heat completed their title run thanks to a lot of key contributions from shooters off the bench. With all due respect to players such as Mike Miller and James Jones, they are no Ray Allen. If they were to reach a deal with him, it would only make them more untouchable.