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Ainge: Retaining Ray Allen Is Our Number One Priority

 

Free agency officially kicked off with a bang at midnight Sunday morning and as suspected there are already a countless number of rumors out there, many from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, linking the C’s to shooting guards such as Jamal Crawford, O.J. Mayo, and even Jason Terry.

However, it has been become clear that the thing that makes the most sense for the C’s (as I wrote about at length last week) is trying to bring back Ray by signing him with the team’s bird rights on him and use mid-level exception money elsewhere to help further upgrade the team’s bench.

With that in mind, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald keeping Allen is on the top of Ainge’s to-do list for the start of free agency:

Regardless of who else the Celtics eventually sign, Ainge said this morning that signing Ray Allen is “our number one priority.”

“We want Ray back, and we’re approaching this as the first thing we have to get done,” said the Celtics president of basketball operations.

Thankfully, Ainge is appearing to back up those statement with a very solid contract offer of 2 years and $12 million dollars, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard. Those numbers are twice what Miami can offer per year, and a million beyond what Memphis can offer with the mid-level exception each year.

Will it be enough though? It’s too early to tell. Ray has to be content with his role coming off the bench, as well as satisfied with the belief he won’t be shopped yet again this year at the trade deadline for the third straight season. Will he ask for a no-trade clause, something Ainge undoubtedly will be hesitant to give? What else can the C’s do to appease him? And the will the allure of the best shot at a championship (Miami) or a potential starting job (Memphis) keep Ray from keeping the Big Three intact for another year? We will find out soon.

For more on the battle the C’s have to face mending fences with Ray click HERE

  • Chris G

    I don't like this…the goal is to get younger at this postion, with someone who can create their own shot and drive to the basket.. I love Ray but the money can be spent on Mayo and could contribute to the future of the organization. Rondo-Mayo-Green & maybe Bass in years to come will be formidable and a nice nucleus.

    • Tudor

      we already have our future stars in moore, ab, jjj, fab melo and sullinger(maybe?), steemer, green. boston is one of the best in developing rookies, and thats not only doc's merit, it's also the three HOFs in our backyard

    • GowGow

      Why are you forgetting Bradley?

      • John V

        He's not forgetting Bradley, that's who "ab" is.

    • Anthony

      Mayo is going to command more than $6mil per.

      Although, I do think $6 mil might be slightly overpaying for Ray. IMO

      • Tiernee

        The leading three point shooter in the league? 57 percent from the line? 6 mil is right on target for x-Ray. Ainge is right on the money. Keep the big three (or four) intact, and give us somebody to come off the bench and we'll be in good shape.

  • Cornhead

    Idk, man. Chemistry is so important to this group led by KG, the Truth, and Ray. I think Ray has a couple solid years left, plus AB provides the youth and athleticism.

    Ray coming off the bench, imo, would be lethal.

  • knebula

    As impressed as i am with the offer D.A. made to Jesus S., Im still wondering if Ray will accept a bench role. My god we need Jesus S.

  • knebula

    Guys we can have Mayo and Ray. Why not take em both?

  • -jp

    Can’t have Ray and Mayo unless Mayo plays backup point guard, not many minutes there. Honestly I would rather have Terry or Mayo for the next 2 yrs than Ray. Too many injury and age concerns. Rondo with Mayo running with him would be great, and Mayo would improve overall. He can drive and dish and is improving. Mayo, Rondo, Bradley back court is fantastic. Bring back Green and we really have a stacked team if Sullinger gives you anything. Would like to bring Wilcox and Either Steimsma or Bass

  • Anthony

    I'm a little torn about re-signing Ray at the $12mil/ 2yr. It's nothing against Ray but Pierce is the captain and spending his entire career in Boston gives him loyalty points; KG is the heart and soul of the team; and Rondo is the future. Unfortunately for Ray, I think the Celts will be better served by signing a younger player.

    Wonder if ATL would be willing to trade JSmooth for Bass, Ray and a future 1st (or JJJ or ETwaun). Apparently MIN is interested Stiemsma. Wonder what kind of $$ they will throw at him?

    The list of free agents I think should be on the Celts radar are OJ, Ilyasova, Novak, Hawes, Lou, Shannon, Batum, JThompson.

  • GreenM&M

    Hold the Mayo!

  • Tos

    Guys Why does anyone want Mayo? He doesn’t want to play here. Not to mention the problems Memphis had with him. He’s another talented diva who will bitch and whine his way right out of the NBA. If he was valuable in the least but Memphis would’ve tendered an offer to him and held him as RFA, instead they let him go for nothing. That says a lot right there

    • dslack

      How do you know if he wants to play here?

      • Tos

        He allegedly was the one who nixed his being traded here for Ray Allen last year prior to the deadline, do a search for the numerous articles reporting such.

  • John V

    We need someone to anchor the second unit, and be the main scoring option. I think that's the appeal of Terry and Crawford; each is a former winner of Sixth Man of the Year. But I believe Ray is much better than either; he's a better shooter and, believe it or not, he's better defensively than either of them, at least against 2s with any size.

    Mayo is better than Ray at some things, while Ray is better at others. But Mayo doesn't want to come off the bench any more than Ray does, plus Mayo said recently he wants to be a point guard. He has problems with effort. And he may well get an offer for more than the midlevel exception from another team.

    Maybe the Celtics culture will cause Mayo to straighten up and fly right. But it didn't really work that well with Patrick O'Bryant, Nate Robinson, Marbury, Rasheed, or Jermaine O'Neal. I'd much rather get "our" kind of player, rather than taking a shot on a malcontent and trying to convert him.

    Mayo has his positives, and it might be interesting to play him and AB together, with Mayo running the offense but them cross-matching on defense. But all things considered, if Ray is willing to accept the role which is available for him, I think we're better off with him than any other option.

  • Anthony

    Agree with all the negatives of Mayo but there's no denying his skills and upside. I think a lot of people may have overlooked his stats as a starter in his first 2 years. 18.5 and 17.5 pts with pretty good shooting #s.

    Actually, I prefer to go after a player like Lou Williams. He's a bit undersized but I think he fits perfectly into the Celtics style of play. And with Rondo and AB's ability to defend bigger guards, it isn't as much an issue. He can play both guard spots effectively, can score in bunches, and has lots of range on his shot.

  • veteransagainstobama

    whhhhhhhhhhhhy????????? old egotistical has been. GET YOUNGER CELTICS WTF!!!!!!

  • vasco

    ray allen is better than any FA option. that is all.

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