To bring Ray Allen back, or let him leave for another team, that is one of the biggest questions facing the Boston Celtics this summer. The prevailing wisdom seems to be it is in the best interest of the Boston Celtics to let Ray Allen leave for another team because they have up and coming guard Avery Bradley to replace him and Allen will be unwilling to share the shooting guard duties with Bradley for less money than is projected to be offered by other teams.
Money is always an issue in modern sports and it is quite possible that Ray Allen would want more money than the Celtics are willing to give him. However, there are many reasons why Allen's worth to the Celtics is more than many have estimated, and it would be wise for the Celtics to match any offer made to the All-Star guard. Over the course of the last two seasons his shooting percentage from both inside and outside the three point line has been at the highest level of his career. With Allen on the floor other teams cannot double team Kevin Garnett in the post or play zone to keep Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce from driving to the basket. Quite simply, by standing on the court he creates opportunities for his teammates.
Another reason is that many of the teams who seem ready to throw money at Ray Allen, the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks are direct competitors of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Does it make sense to let your best shooter go to a team that you are competing against to reach the NBA Finals? Especially when that person would be filling the same role for your competitor that they would be filling for you?
Ray Allen on the Heat opens up floor space for Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. Can you imagine the statistics Wade and James would put with Allen on the floor? James could possibly average a triple double for the whole season. Imagine Allen with the Knicks; Amare Stoudemire's scoring total could increase to the level when he played for the Phoenix Suns because teams would no longer be able to send a second defender to help guard him in the high and low post. Stick Allen on the Bulls and the same thing happens for Carlos Boozer. There is a good possibility he could return to the 20-10 numbers of his days in Utah. Not to mention the space that will open up for Derrick Rose on the floor when he returns from his injury.
If Ray Allen is worth X amount of dollars for two years to the Heat, Bulls and Knicks to play 25-28 minutes a game, it makes sense that he is worth that same amount to the Boston Celtics to space the floor and open up opportunities for his teammates to score. Additionally, keeping Allen around will take pressure off Avery Bradley to produce big numbers for the Celtics. Bradley is still only 21 years old and having future Hall of Famer Ray Allen on the team will allow Bradley to grow into the position, instead of being forced to produce big numbers despite having yet to play a full NBA season.