Ray Allen is 36 years old, hobbled and coming off his worst season in recent memory. Of all of the Boston Celtics vets, he’s expected to be the one that the team doesn’t attempt to retain – for obvious reasons.
So, given the mileage on his tires and the fact that the franchise he helped guide to a championship thinks Avery Bradley deserves to start over him, how much attention is Allen really going to command this summer? More than you would expect, actually.
Over the past few weeks, Allen has been linked in some way, shape or form to each of the following teams: the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. There have also been some murmurs about him possibly staying with the Celtics if he doesn’t get the sort of offers he wants to get, but it doesn’t appear as though that’s going to be a problem.
Here is a round-up of squads said to at least be considering bringing Jesus Shuttlesworth in:
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“According to multiple league sources, there is mutual interest between Allen and the Heat. The most the Heat can offer is a contract starting at $3 million per year, which is known as the taxpayer’s midlevel. Allen could get more money elsewhere, but the Heat offer an attractive portfolio that goes deeper than cash.” – Brian Windhorst, ESPN.
“A source very familiar with Allen's situation told ESPNNewYork.com that the Heat, as well as potentially the Clippers, will be more attractive to the five-time All-Star in the offseason because they're top teams that can offer more than the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million.” – Jared Zwerling, ESPN.
“The Thunder’s trip to the Finals, and promising future, could make Oklahoma City a hot spot for free agents nearing the end of their careers, according to multiple sources within the league. That’s good, because no matter what happens, the Thunder will be looking to add veteran pieces for cheap. Don’t be shocked if they get serious consideration from the likes of Allen, Andre Miller (Nuggets) or Kirk Hinrich (Hawks), among others.” – Sam Amico, Fox Sports.
“Don’t be surprised if the Hawks make a run at former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, who spent the past season with the Trail Blazers. Ray Allen (Celtics) and Alonzo Gee (Cavs) are also said to be on their radar.” Sam Amico, Fox Sports
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“Allen will turn 37 next month, and contenders like the Bulls, Lakers, Knicks and Grizzlies are thought to be interested in pursuing him this summer. The Celtics agree with Allen's assessment of his future and will be interested in bringing him back, after he undergoes surgery to repair the bone spurs in his ankle that limited him throughout the playoffs.” – Ian Thomsen, SI.
Where Allen ultimately lands will depend on what his priorities are. Does he want to go somewhere he can win a title? Where he’ll make the most money? Where he’ll get the most playing time? The best combination of all three?
Each of the teams mentioned above brings something different to the table.
Regardless of what he’s looking for, clearly the greatest shooter of all time will have plenty of options to choose from.