With a player option heading into next season, Ray Allen and the Miami Heat isn’t a sure thing, something the NBA champions are trying to change in the days of the celebration finally coming to an end.
At some point, you have to get back to business, and it seems that day is coming soon enough. Allen didn’t have the best playoff, averaging 10.2 points while shooting 43% from the field, but he more than made up for it with his game 6 heroics, hitting a three-pointer that sent the Miami Heat into overtime, and pretty much saved the season, while the Spurs were on the brink of beginning their championship celebrations.
While the argument whether or not this is the greatest shot in the history of the NBA finals is relevant to the decision, but not as much as Allen’s will go through another season like this, when he started out strongly and faded away for most of the way afterwards, only to reappear when it mattered the most.
Allen holds a $3.2 million player option for next season, and seeing him walk away is a huge hit for the Miami Heat, who are way over the luxury tax in any case, so are unlikely to find a shooter like him (if there is actually someone like him), bringing not just 41.9% from beyond the arc, but the ability to be terrible for an entire game and not blink twice before taking the most important shot of the season.
Allen loves his role with the team, and the atmosphere in the locker room. The Heat gave him the opportunity to remain a vital part of a team (a sixth man, and eventually playing more than Wade on the final game) and get him another shot at a title, and probably more if he stays. The Heat will owe more than $14 million in tax next season, that’s before they decide on their team option for Mario Chalmers.
It wasn’t a question of money for Allen, turning down $12 million for two years when he left Boston for South Florida. Maybe he’ll be able to get a bit more on the open market, but not by much. It’ll either be wanting to remain a part of something big, and potentially more NBA titles, or simply calling it quits on an illustrious NBA career.