BOSTON (CBS) – With Jason Eugene Terry reportedly set to become a member of the Boston Celtics on July 11, the Celtics now have their scorer off the bench.
No one knows if Ray Allen would accept that role after doing so late last season and in the playoffs, so the signing of Terry makes perfect sense for Boston.
He’s the bench scorer they’ve needed for the past three seasons, averaging 16.1 points last season in 62 games off the bench. He won the NBA’s Sixth Man award in 2009 and is known for his big fourth quarters.
But just because the Celtics are bringing in the man that has hit the fourth most 3′s in NBA history doesn’t mean they should dispatch the man with the most.
Of course, we’re talking about Ray Allen.
The Celtics want Allen back, and have — or will — offer him a two-year, $12 million extension, according to reports. While it’s more money than any other team can offer the 36-year-old, the Celtics can’t assure him a starting job or another title.
But really, no team can assure anyone of a title.
Miami probably has the best shot, but if that’s the case, Allen would still be coming off the bench behind Dwyane Wade. That’s a bit different than sitting behind Avery Bradley, but the move would push Allen into the “veteran signing up for a ring” category.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Bringing Allen back would give Boston something it didn’t have last season: an abundance of 3-point shooting.
In Terry, they add a guard that averaged more than one 3 (2.2) per game. Allen led the way with just 1.6 per game last season. It was his/their lack of a true threat from downtown that allowed teams to collapse in the paint, frustrating the C’s down low.
Remember all those wide open 3’s Mickael Pietrus had? Those won’t happen with Terry on the floor, meaning the Celtics’ bigs – whether they be second unit or starters – should have a little more room to work with down in the paint. And if those wide open shots are to be had, one might actually drop with either of those two tossing them up.
Having both Allen and Terry would also give the Celtics the benefit of a little insurance should Avery Bradley, who has only played 95 NBA games, prove unable to handle the rigors of an 82-game season.
After at least three pop-outs in the playoffs, Bradley underwent offseason shoulder surgery, and there is no guarantee he’ll be ready to go – or at the same level he ended last season on – come October.
If both are relegated to the bench behind Bradley, that forms a very formidable second unit and a chance to go very small. Either Terry or Allen could bring the ball up and cause opposing defenses to rotate more than a roulette table at Foxwoods on weekends.
While the addition of Terry could signal the end of Ray Allen’s days in green, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for Danny Ainge to keep the original band together – however much their roles might be changing.
Last year, the Celtics lacked size first and consistent shooting second. There isn’t too much either Allen or “The Jet” could do for size, but they’d both help each other, and the Celtics most importantly, roaming the deep end of the floor together.