Ray Allen has emerged as one of the most coveted free agents this offseason seen as the perfect 3-point sniper to add to any title contender.
Allen is most likely to choose between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers despite the Boston Celtics being able to offer him the most money, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Allen has been recruited by both teams led by their best players, LeBron James and Chris Paul. Allen is meeting with the Heat Thursday and will meet with the Clippers Friday. Miami will only be able to offer Allen $3.09 million per year while the Clippers can offer Allen the full mid-level exception of $5 million.
LeBron and Dwyane Wade have been open about their desire to bring Allen to South Beach with their recent activity on Twitter.
Allen would make a good fit for either team. The double teams Wade and especially LeBron demand leave tons of opportunities for 3-point shooters like Allen. Playing alongside one of the best point guards in the NBA wouldn’t be a bad fit either.
The fact that Allen is leaning towards leaving Boston makes it appear that money is not the most important factor for him. Allen has been willing to accept less money to chase a title in the past when he came to Boston back in 2007.
In Miami, Allen would most certainly come off the bench. Allen was coming off the bench by the end of the season last year for Boston too.
In Los Angeles, Allen could potentially have a starting role. The Clippers were starting Randy Foye alongside Paul in the backcourt during the playoffs after Chauncey Billups got injured. Even if the Clippers re-sign Billups, Allen might make a better starting two for the team than anyone.
The Heat are coming off winning a title and in the Eastern Conference are the clear-cut favorites to make it back to the NBA Finals.
The Clippers were swept in the second round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs but it was their first season with Paul and things look brighter on the horizon for them. Blake Griffin is likely to improve going into his third season and the free agent signing of Lamar Odom will also improve their roster.
If it comes down to the best chance of winning a title then Miami should be the choice for Allen. The Western Conference is simply too strong to look at the Clippers as a team with a great chance of getting to the Finals next season.
But for a little more money and a little more playing time, Chris Paul might be able to sell Allen on coming to Lob City. We will probably know more Friday night.