Huge news, via Marc Stein’s Twitter:
Ray Allen has agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with Boston. The second year is a player option.
Initial reaction: This is a great deal for Boston. It is not totally without risk. Ray wouldn’t be the first shooting guard to have his game erode dramatically after his 35th birthday, which is in two weeks. As I’ve written before, shooting guards with shot attempt distributions most similar to Allen’s were almost universally either washed up or out of the league by the time they hit 36; the only exception in the three-point era is Reggie Miller.
But Allen’s workout regimen and fanatical diet make him a prime candidate to remain productive longer than most. It helps that the scoring burden on Ray isn’t huge on a night-to-night basis.
And the main thing: To get Allen back for just two seasons is great work from Danny Ainge and the rest of the front office.
The price—$5 million less than Pierce’s per year salary—is fair, and the length of Allen’s deal mean’s that if he takes the player option, his contract will expire at the same time as KG’s deal.
The consensus was that Ray had the leverage here. With Pierce back in the fold, the C’s had essentially committed to putting off the rebuilding process, and the team—well over the cap once you included cap holds—was not going to be in a position to sign a comparable talent on the open market. But the more you look at the landscape tonight, I’m not sure that narrative holds true.
The Heat, now flush with Bosh and Wade on max deals, were left with just $14 million in cap room to sign 9 players. The Nets, left hoping for David Lee, are not an appealing destination for a veteran player chasing a ring. The Knicks with Stoudemire and LeBron might be interesting in that regard, but they wouldn’t have the money to match a $10 million/year offer. If Cleveland re-signs LeBron, they would have to convince Ray both to take less money (the mid-level) and that Ray had a better chance at a title with the same version of the Cavaliers (plus Ray) the C’s just eliminated from the post-season.
Ray’s not signing with the Clippers to clean up Eric Gordon’s scraps, and he’s not going to one of the up-and-comers with the cap space to sign him (Kings, Wolves).
That leaves the Thunder with significant cap space, and picking up and moving to Oklahoma City is asking a lot of a 35-year-old guy who won a ring in Boston and likes the nucleus there.
So in the end, Boston made the most sense for Allen, and Allen made the most sense for Boston.
And so: Let’s do it one more time.