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What Will Ray Allen Be Worth Following This Year?

 

rayallen1In an effort, to piggyback a bit off of Brendan Jackson’s post yesterday, I have decided to take a in-depth look at the potential factors surrounding a Ray Allen extension following this season. After exploring the realities of the situation, I have come up with a few reasons why it would make sense for both parties for this upcoming season not to be Ray’s last in a Celtic uniform, while also exploring the question of how much he will be worth at said juncture. Without further ado though, let’s take a look at why the C’s and Ray need each other in the years to come.

1) Offensive Performance
Instead of droning on and on about Ray’s offensive abilities I will let some numbers from last year do the talking here in showing how crucial Allen has been to the C’s success. Stats from Basketball Reference

True Shooting Percentage: .624 (2nd in league)
2 Point Jumper Shooting Percentage: .487 (2nd in league)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .575 (5th in league)
Field Goal Percentage: .480 (best in career)
Free Throw Percentage: .952 (2nd in league)
Offensive Rating: 121.7 (5th in league)
Win Shares: 11.0 (8th in league)
Roland Rating: +8.4 (13th in league)

Those are some impressive stats, especially when you realize Allen was the top shooting guard in the NBA for the majority of those rankings. Clearly Ray can be deemed a one dimensional player, but as we can see above, he performs that one dimension quite well, having put together one of the best statistical all around seasons of his career last season. Keep in mind, he did all this without the aid of Kevin Garnett for the final 4 months of the season, and with the support of an inferior team compared to the team’s 2008 championship run. When you take those factors into account, those numbers stand out even more.

Now I don’t expect these numbers to be replicated next season and beyond by Allen, but I also don’t anticipate a sharp drop off that many have been predicting. With some reinforcements in place in the form of Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels off the bench, Allen’s minutes will be going down, helping to keep the 34 year old tank running well into the next decade.

As a Celtics fan, I can’t anticipate how the team will be able to adequately replace his production following next year, with their cap situation as currently constituted. The money will not be there for the team to bring in a big name replacement and seeing how a trade of Allen midseason will not happen barring an unforeseen turn of events, the team’s best option to remain a viable contender would be to bring back Ray for another couple years, at a discounted rate naturally.

2) Money
This upcoming season, Ray Allen will be in the final year of a 5 year deal which will pay him $19,766,860 over his 2009-10 campaign. That salary will make him the 6th highest paid player in the league for this year. This number may be considered a detriment to Celtics fans but the reality is both parties know Allen will be in line for a large paycut after next year given his age (34) and the league’s economic situation.

The sharpshooter has made over $135 million during the course of his career and likely millions more in various endorsements. Given the fact there hasn’t been too many sightings of him at Foxwoods, I’m willing to bet he still has a large chunk of that change intact through all these years. This probability along with the well documented reality that Allen is loyal individual as well as a class act off the floor makes me feel encouraged about his willingness to take a substantial paycut next year with his pride intact in order to maintain some stability and an opportunity to add to his Championship resume.

3) The Free Agent Market
Though the C’s will not be in good shape to replace a departing Ray Allen via the free agent market, they will be able to offer him as much money as they see fit. Based on Chad Ford’s latest analysis of cap room for teams during the 2010 free agency period, there will only be about 9 teams with more than 10 million dollars in cap room to spend next summer. Out of those teams, there will be few playoff teams with any real cap room with Miami, Atlanta, Houston and potentially Chicago likely being the potential teams in play.

Two of these teams will likely be occupied with keeping their own stars (Dwyane Wade and Joe Johnson) making it unlikely they will be looking at throwing big money at a 35 year old Allen to replace them.
Therefore if Ray Allen wants to play for a contender next season, the vast majority of those squads will only be able to offer Allen the mid level exception on the open market (about 6 million dollars).

It would seem quite easy for the C’s to match and surpass that 6 million dollar number, given that it would be nearly a 75% paycut for employee #20. Now there is always the possibility of a sign and trade, but I can’t see the C’s sending Ray away somewhere willingly where he could potentially come back to haunt them. So if Allen does indeed want to continue playing for Championship contender to finish out his career, Boston could be the most appealing option both competitively and financially speaking.

Now, if Ray doesn’t care about playing for a winner and wanted to cash in next offseason with the highest bidder, he will be heading into a crowded and competitive market. It has been well documented how stacked the 2010 free agent class will be. You have the big two of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Another tier right below them with Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer to go along with some strong second tier players like Michael Redd, Jon Salmons just to name a few.

Given the estimated salary cap number for next season coming in at the low-mid 50 million dollar range, there will be a lot of terrific players out there looking for their piece of what will be a small cash pie. Given the plethora of names and talent, I don’t see one of those rebuilding/fringe playoff teams offering Allen a deal that would blow him out of the water given the alternatives out there and the limited cap room they will have.

Conclusion:

Wrapping it all up here, it seems to me that both sides make sense for each other past this year. Barring injury or a steep dropoff in production, the C’s would be unable to replace Allen’s offensive firepower, ability in the clutch, and presence to help attract top notch free agents on the relative cheap (see Rasheed Wallace).

From Ray’s perspective, the C’s could offer him what will likely be the best combination of stability, winning, and money he will find out there. From the looks of it, Ray still has a lot left in reserve and takes care of his body quite well. With an improved supporting cast in place in Beantown, I could see him excelling here for a few more years to come and extending the team’s Championship window.

It’s clear though Danny Ainge and ownership will be holding the chips in this scenario and likely will decide on a dollar figure that Allen is worth and stick to it. My question to you guys is what will Ray Allen be worth following this year and will the C’s be willing to pay it? Obviously it’s a bit premature, but given only a slight dropoff in production, would 10 million per year be a fair offer? Less? More? And should the team be focused on bringing him back or instead start the process of getting younger earlier rather than all at once a few years down the line?

  • http://vittoriodezen.wordpress.com Vittorio De Zen

    I know he's obsessive about treating his body right, but I still wouldn't be comfortable with paying more than $6 to $8 million a year to a guy his age, playing his position. He seems like the kind of guy who would take a pay cut to stay on a contender, too. Whether or not the C's will still be a contender after this season is open for debate, though…

  • Carlos PR

    I think 8 million could do it. You see, he is a class player that brings more than playing the game. He a model citizen and he should finish his carrer here. Hopefully.

  • Jason

    He's going to have to know that Rondo needs to get paid and Perk deserves a raise, too. Still, any player (and for sure his agent) puts a value on his services and rarely feels compelled to accept much less. He's going to feel he is in great shape and can last many more years. He's going to feel he can still shoot the lights out. And he's going to value himself accordingly, and strive to achieve that offer, not short change himself. Plus, you don't need a consensus to get your money, just one team has to see it your way, a team that might feel he can hold up for 4 more years or think he's their missing piece and is willing to spend or overspend (or overcommit in years). Class is nice and everything, but no one wants to be taken advantage of either.

    Then again, as I opened, he knows that Rondo is the priority and he also knows that Rondo pushes the pace and gets him wide-open transition 3s, plus gets him the ball in lots of favorable positions in the half-court as well. Basically, I think Ray fully appreciates that Rondo has helped him thrive for 2 years and can continue to do so especially with age as Ray's game probably becomes more dependent on others. If he wants to stick around with a PG (and a team) that does that for him, yes he will factor that, but only to an extent.

    Forget summer 2010, though. Focus on #18 first. So pumped or this year, of course until I start wanting to torture then castrate stupid, blind and corrupt refs.

  • Sweeney

    We have seen with our eyes and our collective breaths on hold…what Danny Ainge can do thru the draft. He had a 5 year plan to get a lot of young talent in order to make a splash. After # 17 we all agreed that Danny was a mental giant – playing 5 card stud with 6 cards. So I say hang on a little longer and rebuild all at once. Sign Ray to a 2 year extension from 4 – 6 million and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Dominel

    Just pay Ray what he asks for…He will let you throw and offer on the table, but dont disrespect the man and a player his calibur. 10 Mil is a fair deal, he is argubly the most clutch shooter in the game, 9 time allstar, not to forget before coming to boston he was 32 about to be 33 and was averaging 27 points 4 rebs and almost 5 assists. He sacrificed more offensively than anyone. Dont forget he was 34 when he dropped 51 on chicago, he would haunt bean town

  • Still enjoying #17

    He will be making practically $20 mil in 2009-2010. I say cut salary in half to 10 mil, and depending on other signings including keeping Rondo, reduce to $8mil. Everyone including Paul Pierce and KG will have to help out in salary reductions to keep our future nucleus intact.

  • http://www.espn.com jonathan lugo

    to be honest i hope ray allen and kevin garnett finished thier career here in boston joining paul pierce we need the big 3 to retired from this team like larry bird, kevin, and robert parish. and they’ll have to help each other with their salary to be able to stay winning championships that’s my opinion!!!!!!!!!

  • http://nbaroundtable.wordpress.com/ Dave

    I thought around $10 million per annum on a two to three year contract at this point last year …

    But I think the economic climate has changed since then with the lower cap projections. Firstly, less teams will have cap space, and more importantly less good teams, so the number of suitors has declined considerably which will hurt Ray's chances of getting offered good money elsewhere. And secondly, after seeing some of the contracts signed this season, namely Jason Kidd and Mike Bibby, I think a veteran like Ray could be kept for less.

    I think $7-8 million per annum is fair. A $9-10 million deal is still good value for Ray, but it would be higher than you'd like to go. And if the C's played hard ball, an offer slightly above the MLE, say $6 million to $6.5 million per annum offer may do it.

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  • Arvin

    Given the current economic times and assuming Ray Allen doesn't let his scoring slip below 14 points a game, I would say his value is between $6-8 million per year.

    Now a larger question is what Rajon Rondo will ask for and what is he worth? I would say about $10 million a year, but his agent is posturing RR as a max player. I think not . . .

  • http://facebook.com James

    7 mil to allen then give rondo 8 mil, hopefully pierce will opt out and come back 4 less so we wont be so strapped…hopefully not pulling an elton brand

  • Scott

    Ray Ray is a great player. We have seen him in clutch situations, especially last season, and definitely the season before. He is scoring at maybe the most efficient rate in the NBA for his position. I think somewhere between 8-10 mil is perfect for Ray. If he argues for more, I'll be a little disappointed. I think both Ray and the Celtics need each other, and it would be a great way to end his career. If nothing else, I think Ray can average between 15-17 ppg throughout the rest of his career, all the while doing it efficiently. Look for him to have a great season this year (contract season) and then to get a good offer at the end. Go Celtics.

  • T

    2 years, $15-18 million, with a player option for a third year at 8 mil. That gives us a proven shooter who is reaching the twilight of his career. This deal would give us Jesus until he is 38. If he has anything at all after that, it will most likely time for a change in salary as well.

    This guy can knock down the three in a wheelchair, and he takes great care of his body, but can we expect him to play at this pace into his late thirties. Eventually, time will get the best of him and other parts of his game will start to suffer, namely defense and the ability to play 35+ minutes a night. I envision him within the next couple of years transitioning into a sixth man role getting 25-30 mins a game. If I was a GM I would have no issue with paying my sharpshooting sixth man in the $7.5-9 mil range if I am a big contender. This would trim nealry $10 Mil off of the books.

    We are talking about Ray now, but the same is going to happen with PP next season. I see a similar deal for him, maybe tag on an extra year since he has shown so much durability and will be a year younger when he signs. Again, another $10 mil to stash in the coffers and more than enough to give Rondo and perk the raises they need (Rondo: 5 years, 55-60mil, Perk 4 years, 30-35 mil) as well as have enough to sign some quality talent or take on some bad contracts for high draft picks to help create a new window of Celtic domination.

  • Sweeney

    Slow down fellas…I know we all love Ray. Though take your heart out of the equation please. Three year deals, 10 mil a year??? Preposterous!!!! Don't be bamboozled – I stand by a 2 year 4 – 6 million contract. Maybe 8, but no longer than 2 years.

  • Nason

    Great comments, very thorough. I see what some guys don't understand is League economics: what Ray will be worth, best case, is probably around 12 mil. This is different that what he can be kept for/will get paid: about 7.5- 8 mil and that will be a gift out of respect for one of the all time greatest players. I hope he stays!

  • http://Aol.com Matthew

    I love rayray. The man has the most beautiful yet deadly J ever. Period the end. I would give him no more than 7mil unless we were trying to match an offer from a playoff competitor. He is 34 and still productive. The economy and sAlary cap is gonna make his price lower than expected.

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  • Jonathan

    Wow, quite a lot of different responses here. To me, it depends on the length of the deal. If they just want to give him a 1 year deal, $10M is reasonable and more than he will get on the open market. If they want to lock him up for more years, a front loaded or incentive laden deal. I agree, Boston is a great fit and what is not to like about Allen and the offensive dimension he brings? They got to free up some $$ for Rondo and keep quality back-ups on the bench to be a contender.

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  • Celtics 4LIFE

    Ray has some years left in him. I see him staying with us until he retires and as a matter of fact, I see the "Big 3" all retiring together. They have such great chemistry with each other on the floor and they were friends before they played with the Celtics. I see them all leaving together. Ray is worth $10m or more. A 34 year old that can put up numbers like he consistently did this past season and can play defense they way he did in the playoffs when the whole team was leaning on his and Paul Pierce's leadership deserves a quiet mouth and a big smile from Danny Ainge (unlike his ranting about trading Rondo earlier). He is still dominant and will still be dominant, barring any major injuries or other unforeseen incidents. Celtics 4LIFE.

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