Rivalries don’t mean that much in the NBA, chances for titles and chasing the ring do. Ray Allen, after five season with the Boston Celtics, is signing with the Miami Heat in hopes to add another championship to the one he already won with the Celtics and joining another superstar loaded team, this time as support cast.
Allen didn’t have to go through a lot of criticism when he signed with the Boston Celtics in 2007, joining Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. No one talked about how he betrayed the Seattle Supersonics or anything in that kind of tone. People were happy for the group of veterans come together to win an NBA title.
Allen also faced the Heat in the postseason more than once, including the last couple of years, in the big three era, with the Celtics fighting the ‘over the hill’ stigma. Allen was clearly over that hill, coming off an injury in the postseason, averaging only 10.7 points per game and looking a step behind the action on many nights.
But he’s still a valuable committee for a team looking to win a title, especially when there’s a lot less pressure for him on to step up on both ends of the floor. With the Heat, it’s pretty clear he’ll be about hitting open shots when he’s on the floor with Wade and James who draw the double teams or lead the secondary unit. Not part of a big three or big four. Just a very important sixth man, although things change from now till the beginning of the season.
Allen will probably sign the mid-level exception which will probably be worth $9.5 million over three years. The Boston Celtics offered Allen $12 million over two years plus a no-trade clause, but it seems that Allen believes that his chances for winning an NBA title with the Celtics were over in the game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, just over a month ago.
But that’s not all – Ray Allen was frustrated by losing the starting job at some point to Avery Bradley, being offered up in mid-season trade talks and probably not enjoying his backcourt relationship with Rajon Rondo much longer. The Celtics were building on adding Jason Terry to the current mix, not turn him into Allen’s replacement.
Not much else has happened over the last 24 hours. Elton Brand will be released from the Philadelphia 76ers under the Amnesty Clause, which means he’ll still earn $18 million for the final year of his contract, just not counted against the Sixers salary cap, who needed the space for re-signing Spencer Hawes and probably signing Nick Young on a one-year, $6 million deal. Lou Williams will also not be returning to Philadelphia next season.
Brand, will first be offered up to teams under the salary cap through the waiver process, with the Dallas Mavericks already being considered as a team that might be interested in him. If he goes un-claimed, Brand would then be free to sign as a free agent wherever he chooses. Brand spent four season with the 76ers, not returning to his All-Star status prior to the move, averaging 13.3 points and 7.4 rebounds for the team.
Another veteran, one of the oldest players in the league, Marcus Camby, is also on the hunt for a new team, after getting traded from Portland to the Houston Rockets last season, averaging 7.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in Texas. Far from an offensive force, Camby, at 38, is still a fantastic presence in the paint in terms of rebounding and shot blocking.
Camby is going to meet with both the Miami Heat and his former team, the New York Knicks. If Camby actually joins the Miami Heat, although it might be problematic in terms of contract if Allen actually signs with the Heat, he’ll probably get a starting spot in South Beach. With the Knicks, he’ll get to be Tyson Chandler’s replacement.