The NBA’s all-time leader in three-point shots made Ray Allen has farewelled Boston Garden – agreeing to a thee-year deal with the Miami Heat.
Despite taking a pay cut, this is a brilliant career move for the former Buck, SuperSonic and Celtic. The Heat offered $9.5 million over three-years compared to Boston’s two-year deal worth $12 million.
The departure wasn’t a surprise: we all knew the ten-time NBA All-Star was meeting with Pat Riley and Co. and the most persuasive man in the business (Riley) gave Allen a particular feeling – that he was wanted.
Oh and the opportunity to add multiple championships to his 2008 ring won with Boston.
Two factors, not including Riley, brought about this deal: the deteriorating relationship with point guard Rajon Rondo and the diminishing playing time behind Avery Bradley. And with the commitment from Jason Terry, Allen was facing even-lesser game time.
However enough with the minor particulars: let’s look forward to the 2012-13 season.
What does it mean for the Boston Celtics?
They lose an elite shooter, yet they will be back in the playoffs. President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge’s aim was to strengthen the talent around the big three (Garnett, Pierce and Allen) and went after the Dallas Mavericks’ shooting guard Jason Terry. He got his man and in doing so, acquired a sound substitute. Terry provides more to the Celtics than Allen did and would’ve next season.
Ainge and the Celtics would rather have both players but that isn’t to be. The impact on the Celtics roster will not be the talking point – that will go to the team he is destined for. Boston just handed Pat Riley, coach Eric Spoelstra, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – their eastern conference rival, their main rival, with more firepower.
For the Miami Heat, it shortens their odds to go back-to-back.
Allen considerably improves the Heat’s spot up shooting capability from the three-point line. It is still unknown if Mike Miller will come back for another season due to a tough run with injuries – he surely has a tough decision to make.
Miller knocked down 45.3 percent from the three-point line in half a season: the next best from the regular’s was 38.8 percent – Allen shot the same percentage as Miller. Therefore, if Miller retires the Heat have a perfect replacement. If he continues on, then the roster and the capability are simply stronger.
Here’s another key point. Miami caused problems for the Oklahoma City Thunder with their floor spacing in the Finals. With Allen in the line-up, the challengers (most likely OKC or the LA Lakers) will now need to be wary of the games best three-point shooter standing in the corner waiting for the kick-out pass.
So what’s next for the Heat? Is Ray Allen their final move on the free-agency chessboard? It seems not.
Miami still has some money left over and remaining on the market are a few free-agent veterans of interest – in particular, the 2007 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby.
Camby is visiting both the Heat and New York Knicks and has gained attention from the Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs. If Riley secures the signature of Camby, the Heat would just about be unbackable for the title. Camby has made an absolute bucket load of cash throughout his career, a career that is missing one thing – a championship ring so a drop in pay may be worth it.
If Camby signs with Miami, then he along with Ray Allen will join Steve Nash who recently committed to the Lakers in taking a pay cut to win a title. In saying that, Allen already is an NBA champion. They follow in the footsteps of Gary Payton (Lakers-lost, Miami-won), Karl Malone (Lakers-lost), P.J. Brown (Boston-won) and Shane Battier (Miami-won) to name several.
I’ll leave you with this thought: If it weren’t about money, how interesting would it be if Dwight Howard or Elton Brand went to either the Lakers or Heat.