The Ray Allen conundrum | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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The Ray Allen conundrum

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I was going to save this for later in the offseason, but it came up on the comments yesterday, so we might as well continue this discussion now.

The Boston Celtics have an interesting decision to make with Ray Allen.  The can either

  1. Trade him and his huge expiring contract mid-season.
  2. Let him go at the end of the season and take the cap space.
  3. Try to re-sign him after this season at current market value.

You can make a decent argument for each option.  In reverse order:

Re-signing Ray:  Ray had a great year this year, and he keeps himself in tremendous shape.  But he's no longer a max-contract guy, and he'll be even less of one at the end of next season.  He's going to be 35 after his contract is up, so who knows how much he has left.

So if Ray is willing to accept a deal in the mid-level range, then he might be a nice shooting option for a couple of years.

Letting Ray Go:  The biggest problem the Celtics have right now is cap space.  That's why we had Mikki Moore on this team this year and not, well, anyone else.  And the whole point of trading for max-contract guys in the final year of a deal is to watch that money walk away. The C's already have one. (In fact, they have one each of the next 3 years).

Letting Ray walk after next season lets the Celtics take full advantage of the Big 3's 3-year window… and then gives the Celtics a little wiggle room to start planning the next era.

Trading Ray:  This is the least likely scenario, since there's no way in hell the C's are trading Ray if they're a top seed in the East at the trading deadline.  But if they're not… if something has happened and they're middle of the road (or worse), then trading Ray becomes an option.  They have an opportunity to maybe pick up a combination of young players and/or draft picks in exchange for a rarity in the expiring-deal scenario:  a guy who can actually play.

So if the C's are in trouble and the best option is trying to start the next phase, then maybe a Western Conference contender would be willing to give up some young guys to make one last push at a title.

It's VERY early to really get into this, but these will be the decisions the Celtics face next year.  So much of what they do depends on any number of factors.  The C's have decisions to make on Glen Davis and even Rajon Rondo's extension this offseason that will impact what they do down the road with Ray.

Herald: Marbury mulls options  |  Pagliuca upbeat  |  Globe:  KG surgery next week  |  Lakers rally past Nuggets  |  Clippers win draft lottery 

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  • Bill

    Props to Danny for putting this deal together two summers ago. I can’t say that enough. But now he’s in the precarious position of having four guys at 57 mill? That’s rough. Paying the price for a championship run now.
    “(In fact, they have [an expiring contract] each of the next 3 years).” If I’m going to let emotions make their way into the contract discussions, I’d rather it happened with Pierce and KG than Allen. I mean, it’d probably be difficult for Danny re-sign Ray at half price and still make the numbers work.

  • Ray is very important to this units spacing, locker room and professionalism…I would want him to be a celtic forever…but right now he does make to much money

  • Let me add that he earned that money he makes for sure throughout his career, and the fantastic shape he keeps himself in, one of the greatest shooters ever…but 18 millions is more then lebron, wade, and carmelo make for crying out loud, ya know?

  • I’d like Ray to stick around. He’s obviously a great player-one of the best pure shooters that ever lived. He is also just a class-act. This guy rarely complains, provides great leadership for the younger guys, and his work ethic is outstanding. I know the cons of this situation are there as well; he’s getting older, he makes a good amount of $, but I honestly believe he’s worth every penny. If we did trade Ray, if would have to be for someone of at least equal value. But personally, I’ld like to see Walter Ray Allen retire in a Celtics uniform….

  • He did earn that money. I’m not going to begrudge him getting a max deal a few years ago.
    But this is where we are. I’m hoping for the re-sign him at market value.

  • CFH

    Ray does make too much money, but that’s how the NBA is structured at the moment– young players make less than their value (especially if they were drafted late) and aging stars with expiring long-term deals make more than their value.
    I’d love for him to stay for his last contract and retire a Celtic. The $57 million for 4 people thing does paint a bleak picture of the future, though.

  • BigMck

    This is the same problem the Celtics ran into back in the late 80s and early 90s. They refused to part with any of the Big 3 and it cost them.
    I love Ray…but if you can get a couple of decent, younger players in exchange for him….guys with an upside..a trade is worth exploring.

  • I bleed nugget gold in L.A.

    You can’t trade him midseason, I don’t think the Celtics would do that to him, they wouldn’t do it to Paul thats for sure. I think just wait for the market value and try to get him for a better deal. Of course any smart trade should be looked at.
    Im more concerned with the bench for next year. If our starting five come back healthy and stay that way, we are champ contenders for sure. And if we get our bench deeper, we are champs again. Or atleast that solid 6th man like we had with PoZ.
    Artest would be a good fit if we lost BBD or Powe. He can play wing or post and can defend the same. He has a decent shot and looks like his head is on straight now.

  • Bill

    Melo looked good last night. Now there’s a dude I’d love to have in Boston.
    Refs were letting them play. Looked like tackle football out on the floor. Perk gets called for looking at a guy, but the refs swallow their whistles when Kobe and Melo face off. Double standard.
    And Kobe still with the douchiness. In the postgame interview he talks about going up against Melo and how he used to be the butt of jokes in Beijing. Who brings that up in a postgame interview? I would personally contribute money to a fund to pay Kobe to leave America and go play ball in some other hemisphere.

  • NineSevenEight

    Maybe I’m naive, but I think Ray is very aware of the situation that both he and the Celtics are in when it comes to his contract. Ray knows his age and his abilities at this point. After making his money in the league and finally getting a ring with Paul and KG, the optomist in me feels like he’d be willing to take a MLE. All of the Big 3 have shown that they’re willing to sacrifice for the greater goal and I don’t think that Ray would walk away from the Celtics if there’s a possibility to win another ring. I also take into consideration that he’s in New England, close to UConn, closer to family, etc. I just feel like the situation is ideal for him so why would he want to uproot again? Why would he want to risk having his role change with another team full of players he’s not familiar with at this stage in his career? He’s obviously a creature of habit and it takes a little bit for him to get comfortable as we’ve seen in the past. I see Ray as a loyal guy on the back end of his career that knows what his strengths, weaknesses, preferences are. I don’t know, I see Ray taking a paycut to finish out his career as a Celtic. We’ll see what happens…I think he stays.

  • haha

    Hows fishing Loser? hahah..KG will always be the Douchebag King..You should join him, since both of you loves to talk when they arent playing.
    OWNED hahaha