Post-game Reactions

I’ve been wondering about the possibility of a no-trade clause for a while here with Ray Allen, as Danny Ainge attempts to re-sign his 37-year-old free agent shooting guard. Now though, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald is reporting that the C’s are strongly considering appeasing Allen with a no-trade clause or trade kicker (big salary raise if he’s dealt) in his next contract. Bulpett is also the one who broke the ‘KG re-signing’ story, so his word counts as much as anyone’s when it comes to the C’s.

Allen told the Herald months ago that he didn’t want to have to sweat out another trade deadline after nearly being moved in the past, and word is the Celts are ready to comply with either a no-trade clause or a trade kicker that would get him a good sized raise in salary if he does get moved.

There also has been talk of Allen’s poor relationship with point guard Rajon Rondo, and, frankly, we don’t know how much to read into this. There have been countless successful situations where stars have regularly bickered to no ultimate detriment.

It’s also interesting to note that, according to the source, Allen would already have a deal with the Celtics if they’d met his asking price, leading one to wonder whether there’s really anything to the Rondo rhetoric.

CH’s Analysis: I have thought for awhile that this could be the step needed to get a deal done with Allen for Boston and I’m glad to see Ainge has come to this realization as well. For however much the C’s have insisted they want Allen back, perhaps purely to keep him away from the Miami Heat, they could not escape the lingering bitterness Ray may have felt having been shopped two of the past three trade deadlines.

Allen came back to Boston after the first round of shopping in 2010, but he’s clearly at the point in his career where he doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. He appears to want the Celtics to put their money where their mouth is, when it comes to geographic security. A no-trade clause does that and eliminates — potentially — the biggest reason Ray would want to skip town and join the enemy in Miami.

I’ve argued already with Zach Lowe, author of the terrific Point Forward blog on SI.com (and formerly CelticsHub writer) about the wisdom of giving a 37-year-old shooting guard a no-trade clause when only two players in the NBA (Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant) have one. Lowe argued correctly that the C’s had the right to shop Ray the last few years and he’s entirely correct about that.

The issue here for the C’s, though, is that Allen is a prideful and confident guy. After being convinced to return to Boston on a 2-year deal back in 2010, Allen was shopped yet again this past March, with reports of a near-deal for O.J. Mayo leaked after the deal fell through. That kind of stuff is embarrassing to a guy who has thrived on routine and stability his entire career.

Due to this, Allen probably doesn’t trust the front office at this point when it comes to trades, hence a no-trade clause or high trade kicker being necessary here for Ray’s piece of mind. It may not be the smartest move for Boston in terms of roster flexibility, but Ainge dug his own grave on this one with his aggressive dealing mentality for the past three seasons. You do that and you have to be prepared to face the repercussions if you want to bring said player back.

Given the alternative is Ray leaving for Miami with no compensation, I can’t see how Allen doesn’t get what he wants here if the no-trade clause is the deal-breaker. Kevin Garnett likely came back because he was promised he would be surrounded by necessary pieces like Allen to make another run at championship. Allen is a key piece of that and losing him to Miami would be the equivalent of losing two games in the standings at once.

Now it may come down to who does a better job selling their team to Allen. Will the promise of more championships from LeBron James and Dwayne Wade be enough to lure him to Miami? Or will the loyalty and bond Allen has with Paul Pierce and Garnett be enough to bring Ray back to Boston to finish together what they started in 2007?

With the Clippers signing Jamal Crawford, eliminating any chance they had at signing Allen, we should know Ray’s decision in the next 24-48 hours. Will he still be content with 2 years and $12M? Could he want more from Boston annually, as well as another year (with a player option perhaps) as a sign of added respect and appreciation?

There are all questions that should be answered very soon.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • GreenM&M

    So we could lose Ray because we were shopping him to get OJ Mayo??

    Damn, Danny.That is straight dumb…

  • Josh

    Agreed dude. Danny really screwed this up on his own because of his wreckless treatment of Ray. However, Ray is a family man, and I know he loves the treatment and medical attention his son gets in Boston as well as the fact that his family has been stable here for 5 years. Cmon Ray, finish off your career here.

  • High Rollers

    Love this news, even if it is just a rumor from a reputable source.

    How about 6.5 per plus third year player option? Why not, if you're going three years with Ticket anyway? In for a penny, in for a pound, especially when you're paying for past sins as Danny is in this case. (Not really his fault; it's just what the Fates wrought.)

    We. Are. So. Close.

    • Anthony

      I have to disagree with this one. No way you give Ray a 3rd yr and add the no-trade clause. Realistically, Ray's dispensable now as is, but to keep him for 3 more yrs is just plain silly. It wouldn't offer the team any type of financial flexibility, which took a long time regain.

      I'm as big a Ray fan as any and wouldn't mind having him back and appeasing him to do so but I'm a Celts fan first and it's probably best if both parties part ways.

      • High Rollers

        I know it's a stretch, but as was written earlier in the day on another site, it's the price of things in this particular free agency. He's still a key member of the band; AB not playing a single game in that seven gamer against the Heatles proved that. (What I mean is that we took them to seven games with Ray gritting through. Total professional iron man. Not dispensable with the road Danny's taking.) And I'm just responding to Mr. Robb's question of whether Ray will push the limits on his years/salary. I still think it's doable and not the end of the world or selling the farm bring this disgruntled sheep back into the fold.

        • High Rollers

          Again, if I'm Ray, 6 mil, two years, no-trade, no moving, plenty of minutes, knowing my teammates' and my coach's tendencies, them knowing mine, etc., etc., etc., … bolting is ridiculous.

          • Anthony

            That's why I think DA gets too much grief for some of the decisions he makes. As fans, some die-hard and some casual, we're already so torn about 1 player on a roster of 15. Suppose the Celts add the no-trade clause, couldn't Ray still ask for a trade if he becomes unhappy about his mins and role? Been a fan of Ray since his UConn days and he needs to make the right decision and come back and compete with Jet for 6th man of year.

          • CG12

            I wonder about Ray asking for a trade after getting the no-trade clause. That sounds like something the player's union would object to.

          • dslack


            The no-trade clause just means the player has to agree to the trade. Kobe asked for a trade a few years ago despite having a no-trade clause.

          • CG12

            Good point. Scratch that.

          • High Rollers

            Totally agree!

          • High Rollers

            Totally agree with you there, Anthony!

            Yeah, I don't know what happens if a player gets a no-trade clause and then wants a trade. Is it reciprocal? I bet Reverend Dooling knows.

  • Lantrell Walker

    I’m all for it. I’ve said for awhile now that what Ray wants more than anything is stability & he’s more than earned it. Give him the no-trade clause & let him retire as a Celtic, the Big 3 have atleast one more title in them, it’d be great to see them raise another banner together & all their respective #’s hanging in the rafters one day. The no-trade clause just sweetens the pot and gets us that much closer to keep the band together and bringing everyone back home.


  • OKCeltic

    Dumb only in the sense that Mayo is somewhat of a knucklehead. Don't know if he would have been good for team chemistry. Part of Danny's job is to always look for ways to better the team. Apparently, he thought Mayo for RayRay had potential to do that. I'm glad it didn't happen though.

    As for Ray, adding more money AND a year to the contract as a sign of respect & appreciation is not a good move, imo. Two years max for Ray, then time to move on. Don't want to get into the same situation we were in with the original Big Three.

  • Tha_Curtlando

    That Clippers news just proves that idiot homer Windhorst in Miami doesn't know chit. He had a big long feature about how it's a tug-of-war between Chris Paul and LaBroni. If he really had "sources" you'd think he'd know LAC were close to other decisions. Then he says we could know Allen's decision by the end of the weekend. We better know tomorrow! Don't let us down, Mr. Shuttlesworth. Choose B?i?g? ?S?t?a?t?e? Boston.

  • Tha_Curtlando

    I thought that was a unicode strikethrough to draw a line through "Big State" … Hopefully you get the point.

  • ElRoz

    Boston should not overpay Ray too much beyond what Miami is offering: two years and 6 million each year is quite enough. He wants "stability" – he has made millions and millions.
    That's enough stability.

    • High Rollers

      "It’s also interesting to note that, according to the source, Allen would already have a deal with the Celtics if they’d met his asking price, […]"

      Maybe the asking price was simply the no-trade clause or kicker?

  • SteveB

    I'd like to see the team stick with the 2 year 12 million offer but add the no trade clause. Otherwise you are just outbidding yourself at this point. When Miami is the only other legit suitor and can only offer 3 million per year why keep offering more money. It would seem Ainge and Doc would be the most aware of problems with Rondo and Ray, yet they are willing to make this offer and keep both players. I think playing time and starting are the biggest issues for Ray right now. Unfortunately I don't think he realizes the drop off in his defense the past few years.

  • CG12

    It isn't about trust or Danny shopping Ray too aggressively. That makes for a nice story, just like the Ray-Rondo friction, but I don't put a whole lot of stock in it. Danny did, and is going to do, what he thinks is best for the C's, and Ray is going to do what he thinks is best for him and his family. This is just market dynamics at work, and I don't think we need to do any deep psychoanalysis about it. The history of Ray being shopped certainly has something to do with his apparent desire for a no-trade, but to then implicitly conclude that Danny shouldn't have shopped him so hard is a real stretch. You play the cards you have in your hand.

    Fans love to Monday morning quarterback management decisions, but I, for one, think Danny has done a masterful job of balancing the present and the future, never placing too much value on one at the expense of the other. I am super-pumped about next year's team, which will be like this year's team, except healthier and deeper. What is not to like?

  • someguyinsac

    I say give him the no trade clause, get him signed already, and move on to our other pressing needs.

  • Sweeney

    If all it takes is a No Trade clause then do it and keep the band together. The big 3 ERA would officially end after the 2013-2014 with all the contracts expiring except KG. I am good with that. This team is fun to watch, reps New England well, and I'd rather ride with them then some unknowns.

    No PO year either, 2 and 12 Mr. Shuttleshworth…

    • OKCeltic

      I agree. As much as love seeing Ray shoot that jumpshot, 3 years is too many.

  • Kel

    I still think 12 mil over 2 years is too much for a 37 year old guard. We have other guys that can shoot the 3 ball AND guard their position. And if he really is whining about a no trade clause…who cares? Boston is the third team he's been on, he should be used to it by now. Sign on or leave, Ray.

    • High Rollers

      Didn't you hear? 40 is the new 30 in the NBA. Okay, not really, but it's usually wise to treat surefire hall of famers who stay in incredible shape (i.e. Ray, Nash) the benefit of the doubt, especially with the market the way it is right now. Ray is a guy to retain for more reasons than Bill Russell's got rings.

      • CG12

        It is definitely true that we are in a new era for player longevity. Players are playing better for longer than they ever have before. That the Big 3 could play well last year, let alone be looking for multiple additional years, would have been unimaginable even 15 years ago. The only guys who played effectively past 35 were big guys who didn't rely on quickness. Now anyone can do it, apparently.

  • skeeds

    HA! I called it! I mentioned the possibility of offering a no trade clause some time ago! It's not a death trap on a short term deal like 2 years. And it should be more important to Ray than many in the league.

    Ray's as low risk as they come for a deal like that. He ain't gonna forget how to drop 3's, and he's so finetuned physically that I can't see him getting slow. His stamina is better than both KG and PP.

    Can't understate the fact that now it's as much about stopping the Heat from acquiring a perfect piece as it is for us keeping a great player. Ainge, kill them dead!!!

    • High Rollers

      You called it. I called it. Brian Robb called it. But I wonder if it was Wyc G. who ultimately played that card. Also still wondering if it's even true.

      • skeeds

        I know. Even though it makes sense, it doesn't sound like an Ainge move…

  • Jorge

    If we are going to have Jason Terry, Ray Ray is expendable. I love Allen, but I think a guard rotation of Rondo, Bradley, Terry, and perhaps Dooling is fine. That is not even counting G/F Pietrius, etc..

  • althea taylor

    i say it is what it is either he stays or go the choice is his only

  • john42_98

    i rather have a younger version that doesnt mind playing defense or can dribble the ball and doesnt have to be trown the bal to take a shot

  • john42_98

    pietrus or moore as back ups are good they can play defense and dribble and rebound

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  • mary d

    Ray should stay …. Boston loyalty, comfort, respect and no guarantee for repeat Heat title are all components for staying a Celtic. Keeping the big 3 (4 with rondo!) plus the new young players ainge recruited makes celtics chance for a championship high. Look how far they went this part (short) season with all the injuries. Something should be said for that.

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