Free agent shooting guard Ray Allen plans to visit the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers later this week, according to reports.
Allen, known as one of the best shooters in the NBA, plans to visit the Heat on Thursday and the Clippers on Friday. The defending champion Heat would love to add the 37-year-old sharpshooter to help bolster a team that struggled from beyond the arc last season, but his former team, the Boston Celtics, feels confident it will re-sign him.
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers called it a stretch that Allen would leave, but later admitted he doesn't have a great feel on what he'll do.
I don't know, Rivers told The Dan Patrick Radio Show. We're working hard. He has a lot of options and that's the bad news for us. It'll be interesting. I wish I had a feel on it. Usually I do. But I can tell you in this one I don't.
The Heat can offer Allen a chance to win another NBA title before retiring, but can't offer him much in terms of a salary. The Heat only have their mini midlevel exception, worth a little over $3 million, to offer Allen, while the Celtics can counter with a two-year, $12 million deal.
The Clippers can get close to that offer with their full midlevel exception worth $5 million per year. Allen could provide a nice outside shooting threat to complement the inside one-two punch of Blake Griffin and DeAnde Jordan. Clippers point guard Chris Paul could see more room to drive to the lane if defenses were forced to play it safe with Allen lurking at three-point range.
ESPN reports that the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, and Dallas Mavericks are also interested in landing the All-Star. It is believed, though, that the main contenders are the Celtics, Heat, and Clippers.