The Ray Allen saga has moved into day three on Tuesday and from the looks of it, it won’t be ending until at least this weekend. Here’s the latest via David Aldridge of NBA.com:
The 36-year-old free-agent guard will visit the Miami Heat on Thursday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, according to a source, and listen to their pitches.
Allen is also being pursued by the Memphis Grizzlies, who are seeking a replacement for free agent guard O.J. Mayo. The Grizzlies didn’t tender Mayo a qualifying offer last week, making him an unrestricted free agent. Memphis will offer Allen its $5 million exception.
Allen had conference calls on Monday with the Grizzlies, as well as the Heat, Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves, according to the source. But Allen is not currently scheduled to make visits to Memphis or Minnesota.
CH Analysis: Well there’s good news and bad news here. The good news? It appears Minnesota and Memphis are out of the running for Ray. The bad news? They were probably never seriously in the running in the first place. Miami and the Clippers have always been the real contenders to land Ray’s services and no matter how you want to interpet Ray’s decision to meet with both teams, it can’t come as a big surprise. This is the art of negotiation. Ray likely has verbal offers from all four teams and BostonHere’s a look at what the serious contenders for Ray’s services are offering:
Now, it pretty much comes down to how well these teams can sell themselves and a meaningful role to Allen. Everyone likes to be loved, something Ray hasn’t felt at times over the last couple years in Boston (usually right around the trade deadline) so Ray is going to hear how good he is from a a team in Miami that has wanted him since 2010, as well as an up-and-coming squad in sunny LA.
They can’t give Allen anything more than Boston financially, but will either of these squads potentially insert a no-trade clause in his contract offer to appease the shooting guard’s security? Will they sell him well enough to the point where Allen’s agent can go back to Danny and say he is thinking about leaving and ask for another million or two per year? Or will Ray just simplty decide he’s had enough of Boston and move on to a place that will give him a better chance at earning a second ring?
There are no clear answers right now. Given his roots and the fact his family has been settled here for the last five years, you have to think Boston is the favorite still as of now. That may change later this week though. For now, we watch and wait as Celtics fans hope Allen wants to finish what he help started.
For more on the challenges of signing Ray Allen click HERE
For more on the intriguing personality of Allen click HERE