According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Allen is "torn" on whether to leave the Boston, and with all that the team is offering, it's not difficult to see why.
Not only are the Celtics willing (and able) to offer $6 million per season (double what the Heat can offer), but Boston is also willing to give Allen the no-trade security he desires.
Via the Boston Herald:
Allen told the Herald months ago that he didn’t want to have to sweat out another trade deadline after nearly being moved in the past, and word is the Celts are ready to comply with either a no-trade clause or a trade kicker that would get him a good sized raise in salary if he does get moved.
With Miami unable to offer no-trade security and only being able to afford a $3 million mini-exception contract, it may be time for the Heat to start looking for backup plans in case Allen chooses the money.
But if Allen's decision comes down to simply choosing the best destination for another ring, there's no real competition. It's Miami and it's not even that close.
Allen Addresses One of Miami's Two Main Weaknesses: Outside Shooting.
Where should Ray Allen sign?
Outside of a strong defensive presence in the paint, the Heat's biggest weakness is spot-up shooting. In each of the past two offseasons, the team tried to address the problem by signing Mike Miller and Shane Battier.
Battier and Miller both came up huge at different points in the finals for Miami this past season, but other than those contributions, they've essentially been sunken costs for Heat owner Micky Arison.
And with Marcus Camby headed to Miami to meet with Heat brass on Saturday, the Heat could address both of their major needs if Allen and Camby come into the fold.
Unless I'm Crazy, We Just Played That Series...And Boston Lost
With so few surrounding characters returning to Boston and the team's addition of Jason Terry, Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo, you could argue that this is a differently constituted team.
But if Allen returns, Doc Rivers will be relying on the same core four players who took the Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals this past season. And that team lost Game 6 on its home court with an NBA Finals appearance on the line.
And I'm not exactly being Woodward and Bernstein by reporting that the Celtics' core is really old. By the time the 2012-13 playoffs roll around, the Celtics' theoretical crunch-time five (including Terry) will have an average age of 34.2. Even if you put substitute 22-year-old Avery Bradley in for Terry, that average is still an astounding 31.6 years old.
Historically speaking, teams that old simply don't win championships.
Allen Gets to Play With the Best Player in the World on the Defending Champion
Above all else, talent wins in the NBA. And if LeBron James proved anything in these 2012 playoffs, it's that he's still the league's best all-around player by a significant margin.
Get this, though: Having Allen in the fold will only make James better. In Cleveland, James excelled as a creator when he had a safety net shooter to kick the ball to when defenses collapsed on his dribble drive. Allen is the greatest pure shooter in NBA history regardless of whether he'll ever full recover from his ankle injury.
There's also the most important factor in all of this: The Miami Heat won the 2012 NBA championship. That automatically makes them the favorite for the 2012-13 title, and adding Allen would do nothing but help those odds.