2012 NBA Free Agency

Ray Allen to Heat: Analysis, Grade and Twitter Reaction

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 07:  (L-R) Ray Allen #20 and Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics look on dejected 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 Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2012

The rivalry between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics just got taken to a whole new level with Ray Allen's decision to take his talents to South Beach as an unrestricted free agent.

Heat owner Micky Arison first reported the news via Twitter, which was confirmed by Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated:

Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news.Welcome to the family #20!!

— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 6, 2012

 

The agent for Ray Allen, Jim Tanner, confirms that he has agreed to join the Miami Heat.

— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 6, 2012

 

Since the Celtics agreed to a three-year contract with veteran guard Jason Terry, per the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn, Allen would have likely been the third-string shooting guard behind Terry and probable starter Avery Bradley.

However, the possibility of less playing time doesn't seem to be the reason why Allen chose the Heat over the Celtics, even though Boston could have offered him twice the amount of money.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

The deterioration of Ray Allen's relationship with Rajon Rondo played a significant factor in his leaving for Miami, several sources tell Y!

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 6, 2012

 

His relationship with Rondo wasn't the only issue with Allen, according to Wojnarowski:

As Y! had reported, Allen was angry w/ near-trade to Memphis at deadline. Too much acrimony to get past. Off to Miami for less money.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 6, 2012

 

This is a signing that won't sit well with Celtics fans, and it may take a while before the people of Boston get over this.

Let's analyze the move for both teams and grade the signing for Miami.

 

Analysis

The Celtics are better suited to win now with Terry than they are with Allen. Allen shot just 30 percent from the three-point line in the 2011-12 playoffs, which was the worst percentage from beyond the arc in his playoff career. He also shot just 71 percent from the foul line in the playoffs, far below his career playoff average of 88 percent.

In addition, he brought very little athleticism to the Celtics, which Terry will be able to provide. Allen's one-on-one defense improved greatly in his first season in Boston, but it wasn't as good as the team would have liked this past season. Injuries probably had a large impact on this.

While the Celtics may in fact be better-off going forward without Allen, the Heat will certainly benefit from his outside shooting ability.

Allen is still a reliable three-point shooter and will stretch the floor, so Dwyane Wade and LeBron James can have enough room to attack the rim. He shot a career-high 45 percent from beyond the arc last season, and with all the weapons that the Heat have on offense, he will likely have a ton of open shots next season.

If injuries force Mike Miller to retire or play a lesser role next season, Allen will be able to give Miami the outside shooter it needs in critical moments.

 

Best Tweets

Play-by-play voice for the Celtics on 93.7 WEEI Sean Grande shares his thoughts on Allen's departure:

Ray Allen was a great Celtic. He's earned the right to finish his career where he wants...as Johnny Damon-ish as it may feel right now.

— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) July 6, 2012

 

Wojnarowski reports some more information on Rondo and Allen:

Doc Rivers had tried to mend Rondo-Allen issues after season, but one team source says, "They were too far gone."

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 6, 2012

 

He also reported on Pat Riley's presentation to Allen:

Ray Allen considered Pat Riley's presentation the past two days in Miami as "incredible," source says. "They sold him in every way."

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 6, 2012

 

LeBron James also shared his thoughts on Allen's decision (via Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports):

LeBron to Y! on Ray Allen pre-decision!: "We're not stealing him. He's unrestricted. He isn't with nobody man. Ray is a huge piece out there

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2012

 

James continued by saying:

LeBron on Allen to Y! cont.: "Who wouldn't want a dead-eye shooter like that, a complete professional and a champion. He has all the...

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2012

LeBron James to Y! on Ray Allen cont.: qualities for a team to get over the hump or to compete for a championship each and every year."

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2012

 

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com shares that Allen had a better regular season three-point shooting percentage than Terry. However, it's worth mentioning that the former Mavericks guard shot better from beyond the arc in the playoffs.

Well, hey , Ray did have a down year, I'm sure he didn't shoot THAT much better from 3 than Jason Te... 45%-38%. OH.

— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 6, 2012

 

Grade: B+

Allen's injury history could be an issue for Miami, but if he's healthy, he will be a valuable addition to its roster. He will give Miami some needed scoring off the bench, and he's a high-character guy in the locker room and the community.

He also has a history of hitting clutch shots in both the regular season and the playoffs. Even though James proved he could be clutch during the 2011-12 NBA playoffs, it never hurts to add more players with the "clutch gene."

Allen will certainly bolster Miami's talent and depth on offense, but his departure won't prevent the Celtics from having a chance to make the NBA Finals next season.

 

Nicholas Goss is an NBA and NHL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, follow him on Twitter.

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