MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the Miami Heat continues to re-shape its roster following the departure of LeBron James, there is one player that Miami would love to see stick around and help keep the team among the better ones in the Eastern Conference.
Future Hall of Famer Ray Allen has been an integral part of the Heat during his two seasons in Miami.
Allen is currently a free-agent and has the luxury of choosing where he’d like to be next season. The two front-runners appear to be the Heat and LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers who haven’t been shy about wanting Allen to re-join forces with James and help the Cavs contend for a championship.
There are surely other teams that would happily sign Allen to a contract should he express any kind of desire to play there but an additional option is floating above the heads of anyone hoping to make a run at adding the NBA’s all-time best 3-point shooter.
According to Yahoo Sports, in addition to weighing his free agency options Allen is also contemplating retirement.
Drafted fifth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, Allen has had a very successful career and will forever be known as one of the best pure shooters to ever hold a basketball.
The 10-time All-Star will have his 39th birthday on July 20 and may decide that his two NBA championships, his Olympic gold medal (earned in the 2000 Summer Games as part of the U.S. men’s basketball team) and countless NBA records are enough to hang up his sneakers for good.
The longer Allen waits to make a decision, the less money he’s likely to be able to make should he decide to play another season in the NBA.
He’s currently eligible to make the bi-annual exception (worth just over $2 million but not available to luxury tax teams) or the room exception (worth around $2.5 million) with either scenario having Allen sign a two-year deal though the second year would likely be a player option.
Should Allen wait too long and have those options become unavailable, he’d be likely to have to sign for the veteran’s minimum which is just under $1.5 million for the upcoming NBA season.
After an 18-year career in which Allen has signed five contracts worth a combined $183 million, it wouldn’t be surprising if he elects to wait until he is ready to make a decision on the upcoming season and forego that additional salary he’d make on either of the exception options.
Additionally, when Allen signed a two-year deal worth $6.32 million with the Heat during the summer of 2012 he rejected a contract from the Boston Celtics that would have paid him almost double that amount (Boston offered him a two-year $12 million contract).
Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t seem that Allen will be in any rush to a decision for monetary reasons.
With no deadline to make a decision and the NBA season still over three months away, it’s anybody’s guess when Allen will let us all know what he intends to do.