Ray Allen is about to join the dark side to chase a ring after accepting the mini-mid level exception from the Miami Heat (worth about $3.1 million a year) and turning down approximately $6 million a year from the Celtics.
I kid Miami fans, because it hurts.
Fantasy Implications: Despite some age-related decline from the soon to be 37-year old Allen last year and injuries that caused him to miss 20 games, he still was able to finish 49 on the GMTR fantasy basketball player rater on a per game basis thanks to his 2.3 threes per game, 91.5% free throw percentage and extremely low turnovers. However, his 14.2 points a game was his lowest average since his rookie season back in 1996-97.
Playing alongside James, Wade and Bosh, there is a good chance that Allen becomes even more of a three point specialist than he already was with the Celtics. I mean, that’s exactly the reason the Heat signed him (well, and burning the Boston was a nice side effect too); it gives them what Mike Miller so spectacularly failed to do. This is not going to be the big 4 starring Ray Allen, rather, the Heat are signing him to perform a specific role on their team.
As long as Allen can continue to hit threes at a 45% clip, he’ll be good for at least 2 – 2.5 threes a game with Miami. I can’t see the scoring getting any higher than 14 points a game playing alongside the big 3 and his defensive numbers will continue to be mediocre at best. His assists are also likely to decline from the 2.4 he averaged last season, especially if he becomes a guy camped out at the three point line waiting for the kick out. But there is a reason why Allen decided to take his talents to South Beach and it’s not to boost his stats.
Allen with continue to have some fantasy value with the Heat as an incredibly efficient three point specialist who doesn’t turn the ball over, but given his situation in Miami, this is the year we recommend not drafting Ray Allen in fantasy leagues unless it’s towards the back end of a draft.
Bold Prediction: 13.5 points, 2.5 threes, 2.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals with great percentages.
In the bonus: Court Vision uses some spatial analysis to visually show where Ray Allen is going to help the Heat on the court. A lot.