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Ray Allen’s Imminent Departure

 

Ray Allen will play basketball next season but it won’t be for the Boston Celtics.

That’s increasingly certain as a series of factors have lined up against his return.

In recent days, both Jackie MacMullan and Chris Mannix have intimated at the problems between Allen and Rajon Rondo this past season.

It’s easy to pin this on Rondo. His inclinations to prickliness and brooding have been well reported. And since arriving in Boston Allen has been portrayed as the least demonstrative member of the Big Three and the one who sacrificed the biggest part of his game to fit into Doc Rivers’ system. He’s relentlessly, exhaustively been described as professional.

These descriptions are accurate but they tell only part of the story with Allen, who doesn’t fit quite so neatly into that box.

From the Boston Globe in 2008:

There is Allen, who needs to complete a specific checklist of chores before tipoff. And then there is Garnett, a brooding pregame figure who requires an intense period of introspection to prepare himself.

It was inevitable that their approaches would collide. In early December, Garnett was at his locker, alone, silently visualizing his responsibilities for the game. Allen, who had long ago completed his pregame tasks, was joking with Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo. The noise interrupted Garnett’s concentration. He barked his objections; his veteran teammate barked back.

“They got into it with each other,” reports Rondo. “Me and Perk were sitting there going, ‘Whoa, what’s this about?’ “

Pierce observed the verbal skirmish with amusement.

“Stuff like that happens on teams all the time,” Pierce insists. “Different personalities. But Ray’s to blame. He’s crazy. One night he gets on the plane and says, ‘Paul, you’re in the wrong seat.’ I told him, ‘Man, there’s a hundred seats open. Leave me alone.’ “

Imagine five years of that kind of thing.

Of course, that’s not the only reason Allen is likely to depart or a problem that the C’s can’t overcome. After all, whatever issues existed between he and Rondo didn’t prevent a deep playoff run. And Allen dragged himself out on the court over these last two months to prevent things like “Sasha Pavlovic” and “25 minutes played” appearing a box score. That’s basically the definition of heroism.

But consider this from MacMullan’s post-season wrap on ESPN Boston:

Allen … disagreed with the decision to have Bradley supplant him in the starting lineup. His shot opportunities dropped markedly, and his soured relationship with Rondo was evident. Allen was also stung by Boston’s attempt to deal him to Memphis for O.J. Mayo.

There will be no hometown discount taken by the NBA’s all-time 3-point king. All indications are the time has come for Allen and the Celtics to part ways.

Allen will have no shortage of off-season suitors amongst championship hopefuls, some of whom may offer him a starting spot. Unless the Celtics move Avery Bradley, there’s no similar offer coming in Boston. Bradley will start at the SG spot next year and Allen would have to be comfortable coming off the bench to return.

So, to return to Boston, Allen might have to take less money for a smaller role in the offense.

And that’s if the Celtics even want him back.

The real problems with Allen returning to Boston are that:

1) His defense has become a major liability. Even before his ankles spurred up on him, he couldn’t stay in front of younger SGs around the league. Even back in January and February, when Allen was snapping crazy twine with his jumper, the Celtics were suffering huge breakdowns in the perimeter defense. Much of this was on Allen.

2) He can’t create his own shot. His ability to shoot and curl and flare and spot-up are terrific weapons. But they’re insufficient for a team that needs to revamp its offense and drag it out of the bottom quarter of the league. And Allen just doesn’t put enough pressure on the defense in enough different ways.

3) The chances of him breaking down only increase as he gets older. His ankles were problems his last year in Seattle and again this year. The Celtics have had their fill of key players struggling through playoff games because of injuries the last few years. Re-signing Allen creates an unnecessary vulnerability in the rotation.

Brian disagrees with me on this but I think it’s time for Boston to let Allen go. While Ray is undeniably a great Celtic and while we’ve all got our personal favorites amongst his crunchtime jumpers, I think it’s best if we’ve seen the last of him in green.

  • felix

    disagree. Jesus needs to stay, there is no other pure shooter in this league right now. Despite the mentioned issues i would always keep such a pure shooter. It's kind of a very special weapon which is nice to pull out at the end of a game. Ray should be able to handle limited minutes in the future, though.

  • ElRoz

    Well, if he is accorded a bench role (unlikely due to price and his desire to start, according to the article) then the danger of him "breaking down" physically is not that big – reduced minutes and reduced emphasis on Ray in the overall scheme of things.

    I would bring him back and have him come of the bench along with Dooling…have Ray play 20-24 minutes a game for the "right" price. But, if the article is correct, the bench and the "right" price are both unlikely.

    Ok, then besides Bradley, let's resign Pietrus and work with E. Moore and hope he emerges with the same speed that Bradley did. I hope Moore can make up for some of the offense and shooting. (and Pietrus is likelly to shoot better next season)

  • skeeds

    Seriously? Are gonna keep beating this dead horse until there's actual news?

    Mannix and McMullan are picking on a tidbit of info and blowing it out of proportions. If they suggest that the ultimate professional would make a career decision based on feelings, then I bet I can run a story just as deceivingly truthful the other way.
    About how Ray is fond of this team and his coach, how he almost cried after game 7, and how his family has found a home in New England, and his bonds to the community, blah blah… creature of habit… blah blah, he's begging to stay!

    For a lot of reasons, like the ability to start, or have a better chance on winning a championship, or even making more money, Ray is more likely to go than to stay. But the Rondo thing? I bet it's crap.

    • Tudor

      Probably the only reason Ray will go, is because of all these, b******t reports left and right. As we speak he is prepping for surgery, and you write this profanity about him… If i read this, i would also be wanting to go on any other team. Plus, he clearly stated, he wants one more run, and that this group can still win games. Horrible. I love what u usually write, but this thing with Ray is getting out of hands

  • Sophomore

    Strongly agree. I love what Ray has given the team, his talent, his tremendous desire. But he has the limitations you pointed out, and worse, he doesn't fully recognize them. He still tries to do things off the dribble, with terrible results. Even worse was watching lesser players – Mario Chalmers! – body him up on D and force Ray into turnovers. And the truth is that A.B., if he gets his shoulders right, will give this team much more than Ray could next year. Much more.

    • W2.

      Chalmers is sneaky good. Pierce, Collison, and Chalmers. All underappreciated Jayhawks.

      • Anthony

        Hate Chalmers for all the flopping he does. He's getting out-flopped by the D.Fisher. It's pretty funny how the ref aren't buying his flops and when Lebron starts yelling at him. Why did the ref bought his flops in the Celts series is still a mystery to me.

        Collison is pretty good though and we all know Pierce is The *bleep bleep Truth.

    • Rav

      To be fair, Chalmers is a good defender, and has improved to become at least a solid starter.

  • Loni

    I DISAGREE —— what he brings is unequal to some of the others……..what a shame to let him go – BUT if he wants out – then I'm for it! Love ya Ray!

    • s fan

      Sorry meant vote agree but hit the thumbs down instead.

  • SteveB

    If you love Jesus, set him free. Seriously though, his defense has gone downhill over the last two seasons. He used to be able to play Kobe and Wade and limit them to some extent. Now guys go around him to get in the lane or post him up way too easy. If this is because he has lost a step it stands to reason he has also lost a step on offense and maybe that's why he doesn't get as many good looks anymore. When you watch Ray off the ball trying to get open it doesn't appear he has the speed and drive to get away from guys anymore. I love what he has done in his career and for Boston but I think everyone needs to realize his days as a starter for this team are behind us. Moving forward he will have to be used in proper matchups to limit the defensive liabilities. I don't think AB will ever be half the shooter but I like to be able to count on the defense.

  • W2.

    I would take Sweet Lou Williams over Ray Allen at this point. But there are few others who would fit as nicely as Ray. I do wonder about John Jenkins from Vandy being able to step in as a marksman off the bench. Perhaps another shooting guard who can make an impact immediately will fall to us as reports suggest other guys are moving up (Melo?, Harkless?).

    It will be fun to see how the team shapes up in the coming months.

    • Anthony

      I thought the same thing about how Lou fits perfectly into the Celts' lineup. The only concern is that he's only 6'1" (I always thought he was like 6'4). I hope the rumors are true that he wants to opt out, cuz he's definitely worth more than his current $5 mil salary.

      Not sure about how much the draft will impact the Celts and you know Doc doesn't play rookies.

    • Iam A Celtic

      Lou would be a great 6th man. I like that idea.

  • GreenM&M

    Ray certainly is a "personality" but I think the stories about personality clashes are blown out of proportion. Like Pierce says, this is the kind of stuff that happens on every team (except maybe the thunder)

    The real issue is that he can probably find a better situation for himself elsewhere; in terms of starting, chance to get another ring, and getting a 2-3 year contract. That's why I expect him to move on.

    Just PLEASE not to Miami. Or the fakers. I couldn't take seeing him on those uniforms.

    • Rohan

      Yeah I agree, definitely not Miami or LA. I wouldn't mind seeing him go to Chicago if he doesn't return.

  • Tos

    Ray would only come back if he knew without a shadow of a doubt he wouldn’t be traded. So, I’d like to see DA offer him a two year, ~5 mil per year, with a No Trade Clause.

    And Ray will come back. He’s a family man first and his son gets care in Boston. He wants to play here, just needs an injury free season or two.

    • wildcat96

      AMEN well said….and his daughter is in college in New England too.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-BIG-4/246626778779538 Ronilo G. Jasareno

    Allen has made it clear that he wants to remain with Boston, stating, “the four of us [Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo] know how to play basketball. We know how to win games.”

  • Batman

    I disagree. Ray is still an amazing offensive weapon when healthy
    According to Foresberg he was still in the 98th percentile among offensive players, even in his advanced age
    If you can keep Ray you do, but I would be wary of overpaying
    I just don't wanna see Ray in Chicago or Miami lighting it up, also lest we forget we had a nice 5 year run with hin

  • vasco

    "Allen … disagreed with the decision to have Bradley supplant him in the starting lineup" So the reports back then that he came to Rivers saying that he should come off the bench were bullshit huh? I love people criticizing a guy because he can't keep up with younger guys WHEN HE HAS KNIVES IN HIS ANKLE. Ray Allen is the consumate professional. He is the most phisically healthy of the big 3, barring the recent ankle problems. Anyone who thinks any team is better for not having him is blind.

  • Zee

    After all of this "insight" from third parties, it was Doc Rivers who continually said that he has liked this team much better than another during the big three era. So who's telling the truth?

    Why is CH reporting on this non-sense??? Smh

    After a good run, you endeavor to destroy and tear down the legacy that was built? I thought this was Celtics Hub? Not Celtics Hob.

  • Anthony

    Why is everyone so upset with the McMullan and Mannix reports? I can just guess that they're closer the sources and making assumptions as to what the team intends to do with Ray, among others. Aren't we doing the same thing by assuming that Ray is super professional, has no ego, is going to stay because his family is in New England area, etc.?

    Fact is Ray is an amazing player, had a great 5 year run with the team, still has game left, and we as fans would love to see him back. But if he doesn't, then we just have to respect his decision, not look for the particular reasons, and just move on.

  • Matt R

    Sorry,
    But this is such a horrid reach of a story.

  • Lantrell Walker

    Simple solution to a complex situation: Offer Ray a two-year deal with a no-trade clause.
    What Ray wants more than anything is stability & he's more than earned it. Sign him for 2 years & let him retire as a Celtic, simple as that.

    #WeBelieveIn18
    #IAmACeltic

    • Anthony

      At what price though? Is Ray worth $10-12 mil for 2 years with no trade clause?

      • Lantrell Walker

        I was thinking more along the lines of Ray for about $9,000,000 for two years with a no-trade clause

  • Xeno

    How would changing teams affect my legacy? That's what I'd be thinking, if I were Ray.

    Obviously, winning another ring anywhere would be a great accomplishment. And at this point in his career, a 2nd ring is probably his #1 goal. But winning again in Boston, cementing the place of the 2nd Big Three in the history books, being seen as a core part of the championship team rather than just a hired gun, having the #20 jersey retired by the Celtics, etc. has to be the ideal scenario in terms or creating a legacy.

    Or, on the flip side, if he never wins another ring, is it better to go out as a starter on some other team, or a 6th man on the Celtics? More minutes doesn't always mean more fame. In Boston, he'll be a star no matter how badly he plays–just look at that BIG commercial with him leading the team out of the tunnel. In Chicago or Miami, he'll be a role player behind Rose/LeBron/Wade.

    Anyway, if fame/legacy matters at all to Ray, then I've got to think staying in Boston has to be his preferred result, all other things being equal (which, of course, they never are). I doubt it would be enough to sway his decision much, but it might be enough to outweigh whatever personal problems he has with Rondo and Danny.

  • Pauper

    We all love Ray and it would be great if he would realize his limitations and come off the bench. How many times in the Heat series did you see him get beat and swipe at the ball? AB isn't the next DWade but he can be very explosive when given the chance and his +/- only second to KG shows his value. With Pierce now unable/unwillingness to attack the basket and generate his own offense the big loser is Ray since he got most of the kickouts when PP broke down the defense. Rondo breaks down defenses but they rarely help on him.

  • Nathan

    You know I hate to say it but I agreed with your article you are right it’s time for us to move on keep Garnett Green and bass and hopefully sign some good new player

  • SPS

    The importance of let him go is also that it would make some other direct competitor better.

  • Big 4 fan

    I think i remember hearing that Rondo wanted AB to stay in the starting line up and have Ray come off the bench. Not sure how true this is, but i would tend to believe this since Doc has admitted in many pre-game interviews that with Ray starting Rondo had to defend the best guard on the floor and also run the team which is very difficult and not fair to ask of Rondo. (explanation continued in my next post)

  • Big 4 fan

    I believe that Ray could have been update at this. I was a little concerned about Ray and Rondo as well but I noticed something in game 7 of the ECF that changed that. The team was in a huddle and Ray came over late, he was trying to get a better view and hear what Doc was saying inside the huddle, since everyone was standing up he couldnt see inside…he walked around everyone and stopped behind Rondo(probably since he is shorter). Then he put both of his elbows on either side of Rondo's shoulders and looked over him into the huddle….Like a big brother would do to a little brother. Now if they were still mad at each other, that would not have happened. Ray would have passed right by him and probably stood beside or behind someone else. So even if they did fight, which is what brothers do, i think it's DONE and they have moved on! This should not hinder him from returning to the C's.

  • Morpheus

    This Ray BS story has gotten way out of hand What happened to the other story that stated Ray was fine with the decision to come off the bench? I guess that was full of shit too.

  • Morpheus

    Bring Ray back!!!

  • Dean

    Bring Ray back for another run…….he has to realize at this point in his career, it will save on is legs and prolong his career to come off the bench.
    Go Celts!

  • Montrossdad

    Signing Allen to any type of deal would be a mistake. This team is REBUILDING, that is not done by signing aging stars still expecting to be paid and treated like its 10 years ago.
    Championships are not built on sentimentality.

  • zooey

    Since 2009 people were saying let him go. They forget that last year he had superb numbers and until he got injured while pierce n garnett n rondo finally raised their game in the second half of this season he was their most consistent player to start. Also that was ray taking those shots in game 7 game on the line make or miss in the fourth.

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