Report: Ray Allen Interested In Heat, Clippers

Most assume Ray Allen is on his way out of Boston, so let the rampant speculation begin. Here’s what ESPN New York has to say:

“Before Allen even considers the Knicks or any other team, it’s a given that he’s first going to see if the Celtics want him back and what his two veteran All-Star teammates, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, are planning. The latest is that Pierce wants KG to return, and if that appears evident, it’s likely Allen would stay, especially to play with Rajon Rondo, who’s been the best medicine for the aging Big Three. At this point, it’s unclear what Allen, Garnett and Pierce, who’s signed through 2014 but has recently considered retirement, really want to do.

If the Celtics don’t pan out for Allen, Sports Illustrated’s NBA writer Chris Mannix was told that the Knicks and Heat are at the top of his list. But 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. That will likely be the Knicks’ spending limit for free agents.”

“If the Celtics want him back.” There’s the rub, as they say. With Avery Bradley nipping at Allen’s heels, and some reported beef between him and Rondo, this marriage will probably end in divorce. Plus plenty of teams will overpay for Allen’s services, as he’s still arguably the best shooter in the game. And as the report indicates, money, even at this late stage in his career, remains a factor.

Even if Allen leaves, I don’t buy the Celtics totally entering a rebuilding mode. If KG comes back (I’m not ready to buy the retirement talk quite yet) at reduced cost, they’ll have some room to maneuver financially. Anything less than his $21.2 million cap number should create some flexibility. And, let’s be honest. Ray Allen is only a shell of his former self – a mercenary shooter who, when not firing on all cylinders, is offensively limited. The Celtics were one game away from the NBA Finals, and a younger, more athletic slasher, someone to run the floor with Rondo and relieve some of the pressure off of Paul Pierce, might just be the right piece.

Ah, the joys of speculation.

Where should Jesus play next year?

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