Ray Allen Agrees to Stay With Celtics
The deal, first reported by ESPN's Marc Stein, is for two years and $20 million, with Allen holding a player option for the second year.
Allen was the last piece of Boston's current puzzle that needed to fall into place for next season. Once Paul Pierce re-signed after opting out of his deal to become a free agent, and Doc Rivers made it official that he would indeed return to fulfill the final year of his contract, the decision to come back was likely made a whole lot easier for the Celtics' sharp-shooter -- especially for a completely reasonable $10 million per season.
While the Celtics definitely didn't overpay for a player with Allen's resume and recent level of production -- 16.3 points per game during the regular season in 80 appearances, and a ridiculous performance for the ages in Game 2 of the Finals -- there were undoubtedly more than a few teams out there that would have been willing to do so.
Sources told ESPN.com that Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, and New York were on the list of teams who had expressed interest in Allen. Coincidentally, these are all teams that had the opportunity to sell their cities to LeBron James, in hopes that the reigning MVP would make his free agent decision in their favor. Securing Allen's services would have simply been another potentially exciting enticement to LeBron for any team that was trying to show him that they were serious about putting championship-caliber talent around him -- either in his current situation, or in a brand new surrounding.
But ultimately, Allen couldn't be swayed, and you can hardly blame him. Despite the Celtics being mostly mediocre through the second half of the season, they turned it on when it mattered most, and proved that this group, with Rivers knowing how to drive a veteran team towards a title, is a proven commodity when it comes to winning in the postseason.
The same can't be said for any team that might be fortunate enough to land LeBron James.