Ray Allen Rumors: Heat, Celtics and Grizzlies Top List of Suitors for the Free Agent

on July 02 2012 4:22 PM

Ray Allen's loyalty will be tested this summer.

The 36-year old NBA legend is going to be a free agent for what looks like the last time in his career. Allen had a solid season with the Celtics last year and was a big factor in an Eastern Conference Finals run.

The 16-year veteran averaged 14.2 points per game last season and saw his numbers dip in the playoffs as he battled bone spurs in his right ankle. An off-season surgery has reportedly gone well and Allen is now being pursued by many different contenders, all looking to add his top class shooting.

Here's a look at what his main suitors can offer him:

Boston Celtics

Boston has been a second home to not just Ray Allen, but his entire family. Allen has repeatedly called Boston fans the best on the planet and he has also formed a partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center. Allen got together with the center after his youngest son Walker was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes in 2008.

The Celtics have extended a two-year, $12 million contract offer, which is the highest monetary offer so far. The Celtics own Allen's Bird Rights, and can give him the most money. Boston is also bringing back Kevin Garnett on a three-year, $34 million deal, so accepting the offer can be a chance to rejoin the 2007 nucleus for another run at a championship.

Miami Heat

The Heat are the reigning NBA Champions, so they have a lot to offer.

Although Allen would have to come off the bench, that is a small exchange for another ring. Allen previously took that role before Avery Bradley was hurt late last year.

Allen would fill the role that Mike Miller had last year, and would benefit greatly from receiving passes from Lebron James and Chris Bosh as they pound the ball inside. The Heat can only offer the mini-mid-level exception contract valued at $3 million though, and Allen would have to get acclimated to a new system.

Memphis Grizzlies

A bit of a dark horse in this race, the Memphis Grizzlies are offering the full mid-level exception at $5 million a year for two years. Allen was involved with a speculated trade to Memphis last season for O.J. Mayo, and was reportedly unhappy with the deal.

Signing with Memphis would be somewhat of a surprising move. The Grizzlies haven't been able to advance very far in the postseason, and don't seem to play with the maturity necessary for an NBA Finals berth. However, Memphis has a very talented team, with potential All-Stars at every position and a defensive intensity that is akin to Miami's or Boston's.

Still, this looks like the most unlikely of destinations for the aging superstar, and according to Celtics Coach Doc Rivers, Allen will most likely remain loyal to Boston.

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