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Ray Returns, The Gang is Back

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.

  • I love Green

    The boys are back in town!

    We just need Tony now.

  • DeVelaine

    Oh yeah… This is going to be worth it.

  • Aaron

    Ray’s diet? What is Ray’s diet?

  • clasher

    ray kept his promise, signing for less (cheaper than pierce) and wanting to end his career as a celtic.

  • Ginger

    Glad you are coming back Ray, I am a big fan of yours. I love to c u knocking down the 3’s in the green & white. Let’sgo for the title one more time.

  • Coolin

    We still need more.
    or Shaq

    and then we have a good chance as long as Lebron doesn’t go to Miami.

  • lance

    looks like the east finally lining up against the stacked west… dramatically with Wade-Bosh combination, the emerging bucks, the usual hawks with the ugly signing of Johnson, the nets with a full potential to bounce back, Wall in DC, good pick by bulls to Boozer, Amare to the knicks (not really impressive)… lets also watch out for the pacers this season and maybe the sixers… and while we wait for James’ decision, we cannot deny the fact that with the Boston’s big three is back, though how sometimes mediocre or sometimes elite they may be again, those teams will always looking up against the mean green as a barometer of team success (remember what James said of dealing with the green to be deserving champion)…

  • Lebron James

    I love myself. I love myself. I love money. I love myself.

  • al

    the thunder used up most of their cap space for cole aldrich and a future 1st from the clippers, anyways, i hope the owners utilize sheed’s contract and the MLE, even if it causes them to go over the luxury tax. C’s need some bench guys who aren’t one dimensional.

  • Rajon9

    go to kill the fakers’ 3-peat.

  • Man, what an honor to have the real LeBron commenting here.

  • Mike Newell

    Go Celts. Let’s get some bench help and play defense like a bunch of mad dogs.

  • Rajon9

    on second thought, go to kill the fakers’ 3-peat is actually not correct. it means i’m agreeing that fakers got the second fairly – which is definitely wrong.

    “go back and get our stolen championship” is much better.

  • Adrian

    Shaq here we come, then maybe t-mac,we are coming back for what was rightfully ours. The ring.

  • NHBluesMan

    @Aaron… no fast food, alot of rice and veggies (and no smoking or drinking on top of that).

    Ray is a specimen of physical fitness, its nuts

  • Mike


    GREAT read on LeBron’s ego and how MJ would have ripped his heart out.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    Welcome back Ray! Great contract for both sides.

    @lebron: bad karma. bad karma. bad karma. no rings. no rings. no rings. never. ever. ever.

    prediction: bucks, bulls, magic and Cs dominate the east next year. heat, cavs, knicks and the rest fall flat.

  • JP

    I’m hoping we can sign Nate and TA back, I think even with Bradley, who prob won’t get minutes, Nate is a great choice for back-up point guard. Provides instant offense and played good defense in the playoffs

  • Paul (NYC)

    Well done DA. Sounds like J.O. wants to play for us, which is ironic considering how much money his play against us cost him. C’s need to move sheed’s contract for an asset as well as use the full mle now.

  • J. Atlas

    @Zach Lowe i know that winning a ring is the ultimate goal but for ray allen personally do you think the fact that he only has 117 more three pointer’s left to hit to break reggie miller’s record had a part in the fact that it is a two year deal with a player option for year two??? i mean say he breaks the record this season and we win the championship does he go out on top???

  • DeVelaine

    @Atlas: Y’know… I wouldn’t be surprised if those are major factors in his decision making process. Certainly worth finding out, and at some point he’ll tell us.

  • Lebron James

    I can buy rings can’t I? The Yankees always do it I don’t understand. The Knicks, Heat, Bulls all told me different too. I love myself.

  • Jay P

    This was better than expected. I started the year saying 2 years 20 mil would be GREAT for Ray, perfect situation for Boston.

    Never expected it, but I’m thrilled.

  • strips

    @ NHBluesMan: mind passing out a link where you got ray’s diet?

    just curious what that guy eats…

  • frank

    Mr. Lebron:

    May I please wipe your ass?

  • Zain


    i’ve read more somewhere, but here’s what I found in a quick search.

    For breakfast, Ray Allen usually eats pancakes, an egg white with spinach scramble and glass of orange juice. After shoot around, he will take a pregame nap and, later, dine on baked chicken, steamed brown rice, asparagus and drink bottled water with a slice of lemon. He does not drink or smoke, says Mrs. Allen.


  • Zain

    OH YEAH!!!!!!!! I smell three more years of Smeltics Smack Down! It’s gonna be nice to continue whoopin ur butts!

  • Jay P

    Take a long walk off a short pier bro.

  • mitch

    a championship is not enough for laker trolls..they have to come and here and talk shit to….enjoy the trophy while you can..celtics gonna stick there foot in the lakers ass this year

  • James Patrick

    FIRST OFF… can someone delete the laker fans that come here? 17 Banners. Most ever. 9-3 in series play. I don’t care about any other facts or thoughts. We still own your asses Laker Nation.

    Moving forward…. Is it unrealistic to think we can get BOTH Jermaine O’Neal AND Shaq?

  • lakershater13

    I think America should not turn on espn at 9. The guy is resigning with the Cavs. Cavs will never win it. He will be like Reggie, Barkley, Ewing, Malone, and Stockton. He will be great but will never get a ring.
    Eastern standings at the end of next year.

    Celtics ( Even if we probably wont end #1 I am a Celtics fan so this is where i predict my team being)

    Knicks(unless they can find players to put with Amare) and 76ers just missing playoffs.

    Rapters, wizards, and pacers all sucking.

  • lakershater13

    Doc Rivers is a great coach. He will stick with a team even when they win only 17 games. Jackson and Pat Riley only coach when they have a chance to win a championship. Jackson and Riley are all time great fair weather coaches. Riley didnt coach the past couple years. Coached Shaq and Wade. Now he returns when he gets Bosh and Wade.

  • Perry

    I an lukewarm at the prospect of bringing J. O’Neal in at the full MLE, but yet that is precisely what may happen in the next 24 hours. He is already reaching out to Celtic players about schools for his kids and areas to live.

    True they got exactly what they needed from Ray Allen who did the right thing for this organization. Nevertheless they remain two front line players short and are void of a shooter who can score off the dribble on those nights when Pierce and Ray struggle.

    Unless Rondo exhibits dramatic improvement where the jumper is concerned, or this lack of athleticism is addressed, we’re going to see more dry patches akin to what happened in game 7. We simply cannot count on Bradley or Harangody, as impressive as he’s been over the past three days, to contribute consistently. We also know how timid Doc is about playing rookies; yet the veterans’ minutes must always be monitored.

    I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade here. But what has been accomplished thus far is the Celtics have held serve. In terms of its roster it is no better off now than it was a month ago. Arguably it is worse since Perk may not be back at full speed until the spring…and no Sheed. So there are deficiencies that must be addressed if we expect to contend for a title in a conference that is poised to add possibly four 50+ win teams (Mil/Chicago/Miami/NY).

    By my calculations we have $12m or so (Sheed’s contract w/o buyout, and a potential s/t involving Nate Robinson) to work with, plus veteran minimum contracts. I’ll assume the Celts won’t be entertaining bird rights on Tony Allen as they will move swiftly to lock him up for 2 years.

    It is possible you can go into a season with 3 or 4 inexperienced players riding the bench. At the end of last season, Scal wasn’t even dressing. That’s more than $3m in street clothes! So perhaps going into the season with Harangody, Matt Janning, perhaps Erden or Gaffeny, could suffice. At least it will save some luxury tax money. But with aging veterans I think you need 10 competent rotation players.

    The point about staying under the luxury tax is moot. Management is comfortable with flying over it based on history. If you want to contend in this league the perquisite is spend $$ — just do it wisely.

    There is however a goal to keep the 2012 cap down, and thus far the plan is on the radar.

    O’Neal’s contract will only span 2 years. Ray’s as well. Of course Kevin comes off the books entirely. We don’t know if Perk and Davis will be resigned, but you have to account for at least $10m between the two. It remains to be seen what kind of contracts are procured, but right now it appears the prime directive is being kept in mind when you consider only Pierce, and Rondo are committed for 2012. Bradley is a TO.

    Not saying they’ll be in position to land a max guy, only that it appears one eye is fixed on the future.

    There is still plenty of work to do.

    At least management held serve, and Doc is back.

  • lakershater13


    I like your comment and I think the Celtics could split the mid level between the 2 O’neals. Then maybe trade sheeds contract in a sign and trade for either Childress or Outlaw.
    Danny will put the pieces in place to make our bench stronger. PP, KG, RR, RA, and KP have never lost a play off series when in tact. So Danny needs to get us a solid piece or 2 coming off the bench with baby and Nate(hopefully he resigns).
    Anyone like the idea of Ray Allen going to the bench? Manu did it for the spurs and they had a huge weapon off the bench with a young guy like mason starting. At this stage in his career i wouldnt mind seeing it. Doc usually likes to keep him in when the bench comes in. We could either try to get Childress or Tmac to be our starting 2 or maybe see if Bradley could live up to his #1 prospect hype coming out of high school.

  • Shooter

    Right about now i would love it if we got Mike Miller BUT that aint going to happen,not in this crazy market.I would like Danny to see what he can get for Raja Bell,T-Mac as a backup for Pierce.I LOVE TA but i don’t know what the terms are on his contract but surely teams know of his value as “The Kobe Stopper” and will overpay for that one asset alone.

  • lakershater13

    I wouldnt start to worry just yet. Danny needed to get pierce and allen resigned. Now it is figuring out the rest of the roster. He will get the right guys in place to help us compete against the teams in the east. Right now no we dont look any better than last year. I dont see the knicks being a 50 win team unless they get either lebron or some other good players next to amare. The knicks had david lee and they didnt win 50 games. At least he rebounds. Amare doesnt rebound well or defend. They will be above .500 but 50 wins at this time is pushing it.

  • rav

    great contract for us, what i hoped he would sign for. What’s the player option for? Maybe he wants to latch onto Miami next year for the MLE to win a few more titles? Final payday?

  • Perry


    You’re up late tonight.

    I couldn’t be more happy about Doc, Pierce and Ray coming back — especially the way we ended our season. Maybe I’m looking at the glass half empty, but I do agree Danny has some tricks up his sleeve, and it’s early in the process.

    As for the Knicks, yes 50 wins may be a stretch, but I included them based on the cap space. I think they sign Ridnour who can play the pick and roll pretty effectively with Amare. Chances are they make a pitch down the road for CP, D. Williams or Parker. Mike Miller is an option, and they may land some good players off a s/t for D. Lee.

    For sure though, the power brokers are setting up shop in the east, but the Celtics quietly are going about their business, so let’s see what happens.

  • Hillcrestwildcat

    @ Perry it will be very interesting how this all shakes out now. I think O’Neal will sign for no less than half but no more than 3/4 of MLE I’m think 3 million 2 years is my guess.

    Mike Miller I think is destined for a big payday in NY or Miami no matter where Lebron chooses so he’s out.

    Still leaves McGrady, Harrington, Outlaw, Dorrell Wright and Rasual Butler.

    I think we can get Butler for minimum money or slightly above, Dorrell Wright too (if he doesn’t resign in Miami) My hope is for Outlaw he is friend’s with Ainge’s nephew for some reason, and I think McGrady and Harrington will get better money and/or bigger roles elsewhere so they may be out.

    The real golden goose will be what they do with Rasheed’s contract. I’m SO very interested in that particular piece of business.

  • mike

    gives them a greaet chance for the upcoming year (assuming they can move sheed’s deal and sign j oneal, etc) plus with kg and ray coming off the books in 2 years they will be able to rebuild quickly, and pretty much however they see fit…

  • For Danny Ainge, the easy work is now over (resigning PP and RA) and the hard work begins…

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    thought popped into my mind regarding ray. usually (younger) players want a player option so they can resign for more or longer. that isn’t the case with ray. so i’m thinking the only reason he would want an opt-out is if he thinks they might suck and rebuild after this year. at the very least, an insurance policy against it.

    also, anyone know why the celtics wouldn’t offer pierce 60M over 3 years instead of 60M over 4. is it purely a luxury tax issue? ….it potentially gives a lot more personnel flexibility if you give old guys same money over shorter years.

  • Kobe Bryant

    DAMN! Now I’m gonna have to pay another $30 mil to try and win next year!

    Buss is gonna have to up my salary again for me to be able to pay off all these people for these championship runs!

  • Keith Popsicle

    @ koolaid: Didn’t Pierce make the 4th year a must when he decided to opt out and re-sign? I think that was the main reason.

    Re: Ray. Smart move on all sides. Returns the focus (rightly) to signing a big man or two.

    Zach’s piece is in agreement with what I’ve been saying the past week or so. The East is becoming a very bigs-heavy division, more so every day, and the Celtics have to keep up in that department if they want to compete. The focus is the playoffs. Of course, and they will build a roster made with the post-season in mind. But the beatings they will take in the paint in the mean time will make it really tough to dig deep again and grind through another four rounds of playoffs next year.

  • Keith Popsicle

    That said, I like J. O., if his head is on straight. His health is always a question. He can be a good locker room guy actually, he has always seemed willing to be talk candidly about issues (the dress code comes to mind) when most would back away from that. Worth a shot if the price is right.

    Sorry for back-to-back posts. I had a lot to say. This team is growing on me.

  • Chakra Khan

    A collective ‘Thank You’ from Laker fans worldwide. This assures us not having to see much of the Celtics this coming post-season.

    Telling how not many folk here on the west coast are talking about LeBron very much, but the east seems to be quaking in it’s boots.

    Especially the Celtics.

  • Mike Rothell

    Great point. Need more articles like this. Wondering if you every plan to feature any new Jordans in the near future?