There have been mixed reports regarding how done the Boston Celtics’ Big 3 actually is.
Some rumors note that Danny Ainge wants to dismantle that trio completely and begin anew; presumably realizing that it’s just better to rip off the band aid now than to prolong the inevitable. Then again, it’s also been noted that Ainge understands the importance of having veteran leadership on a young team, and might not be opposed to retaining Kevin Garnett and/or Paul Pierce.
What seems unavoidable, though, is that Ray Allen will be in a different uniform come next season. Celtics insiders have noted that he is as good as gone ever since this season wrapped up for them (yes, all of a few days ago), and nobody has actually come out to refute those reports.
(Don't forget about him almost being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers before this latest trade deadline.)
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Truth be told, it makes sense that Boston management would be ready to part ways with Allen. The 36-year-old free agent is coming off one of his worst, most injury-plagued seasons in recent memory, and while he would no doubt be of some assistance to other teams, he just doesn’t feel like a piece that fits into what the Celtics are trying to do right now.
Which brings us to the obvious question: if he doesn’t re-sign with Boston, where will Allen go? According to Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen, the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies are all possible landing sports. Per his article:
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.
Allen will likely want to play for a championship, but it’s difficult to envision him going to the Lakers. His history with Kobe Bryant is well documented, and he likely won’t want to come off the bench to relieve Bryant in small spurts. Plus, given Mike Brown’s undying devotion to a more defense-oriented gameplan, it’s doubtful that he could even find room for an ancient Jesus Shuttlesworth on his roster.
The Bulls are an intriguing option and, if we had to put money on it, would probably be where we would bet on him landing. New York is always a possibility, but they and the Grizzlies are too far away from a championship to really intrigue Allen.
It’s going to be an interesting summer.
(Kudos Sports Illustrated)