May 10, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen (20) reacts during the fourth quarter of game six against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Boston Celtics won 83-80. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Free Agency: Ray Allen signs with Miami Heat instead of Boston Celtics

Ray Allen has made up his mind and after meeting with the Miami Heat on Thursday decided to sign with them agreeing to a deal starting at $3.09 million per year.

Allen decided to go with the Heat instead of Boston despite the Celtics offering Allen nearly double the salary Miami could.

The defending champion Heat were very much recruiting Allen including LeBron James and Dwyane Wade expressing their desire for him to join the Heat via Twitter.

“We’re not stealing him,” LeBron told Yahoo! Sports. “He’s unrestricted. He isn’t with nobody man. Ray is a huge piece out there. Who wouldn’t want a dead-eye shooter like that, a complete professional and a champion. He has all the qualities for a team to get over the hump or to compete for a championship each and every year.”

LeBron is right. Who wouldn’t want Allen? And Allen clearly chose the place he feels give him the best chance to win a title before his career is over.

Teaming up with other superstars isn’t new for Allen. In 2007, he joined Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in Boston and they won a title in their first year together and made it to the Finals two years after that and lost.

The rumored deterioration of Allen’s relationship with Boston point guard Rajon Rondo is part of the reason Allen made this decision, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Allen was also upset by the Celtics’ attempt to trade him at the trade deadline to Memphis this past season. The Celtics were shopping Allen from time to time at some point over the past few seasons.

The Celtics re-signed Garnett to a 3-year, $34 million deal this offseason and also signed free agent Jason Terry who plays the same position as Allen. Allen was not starting in Boston by the end of the season with Avery Bradley assuming the position.

These are all reasons Allen may have considered in deciding on Miami instead of sticking with Boston. It will be weird to see Allen wearing the jersey next season of one of his biggest rivals but that’s sports in 2012.

The Heat are better with Allen for sure. It’s not drastic but these are the kinds of moves that championship teams need to make to be able to repeat.

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Tags: Boston Celtics Dwyane Wade Kevin Garnett LeBron James Miami Heat NBA Free Agency Paul Pierce Ray Allen

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