The Celtics are reportedly ready to offer Allen a two-year deal for $12 million, more than any other team can offer.
So the question is, why would Ray want to go elsewhere?
“I think there are a variety of reasons. Number one is the role in Boston is pretty unclear at this point,” said Mannix. “I think Boston has settled on Avery Bradley as the starting two-guard at this point, and I don’t think Ray or his ego is inclined to play behind a third-year guard that has proven nothing in this league.”
“Everyone says he would be a backup in Miami, but being a backup to Dwayne Wade and being a backup to Avery Bradley is night and day,” said Mannix. “I think there was a lot of misinformation out there about if Ray volunteered for the reserve role [last season]. He was a good soldier at the end; he played his part, he didn’t disrupt things, he gave Boston the chance to win a conference and win a championship. But now that he has the freedom to pick and choose, he’s taking that opportunity.”
And with that opportunity comes feeling wanted by other teams.
“If he just wanted the money, he would have signed (with the Celtics) already,” said Mannix. “He already has a good situation in Boston, his family is settled in Boston, and he’s being offered the most money by Boston. Clearly there are other priorities to Ray Allen. Maybe he just wants to be wined and dined a bit in his last real stint in free agency, or maybe he really does want to explore other avenues and go to another team.”
Allen will likely want to end his career with a chance to win another ring. The Celtics will not be the favorite in the East when next year starts, which could go into Ray’s decision. Plus, Mannix says there is an issue between Allen and Rajon Rondo that could come into play.
“I’ve said it before, I think there is friction between him and Rajon Rondo; I think that’s a variable,” added Mannix.
While Danny Ainge has maintained he wants to keep the “Big 3” together, and consistently said he would like to have Allen back, there is an underlying bonus that would come Boston’s way were they to re-sign Allen.
“It’s a little complicated because of the salary cap situation. If they go over that $58 million cap when they sign their own free agents, they have access to the $5 million mid-level exception that they can use,” explained Mannix. “For Boston, it’s not just about getting Ray Allen, but getting Ray Allen and having $5 million to spend on a guy like a Jason Terry or a Kris Humphries; a guy that can make them better… You’re talking about a two-for-one situation for the Celtics where they would get Ray and still have the ability to go out there and sign someone else.”
Plus, what’s the latest on the whole Dwight Howard trade drama? Could he land in Brooklyn, or are the recent rumors just the works of the Nets trying to get the info out? Mannix breaks it all down, including the playoff picture in the East if Howard ends up in Brooklyn.