Erroneous news reports aside, Ray Allen still has yet to make a decision on the Miami Heat’s contract offer. Allen met with team president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra for dinner Thursday night but left without giving them any commitment. Here’s more from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:
The Heat offered Allen their mid-level exception, which starts at $3.09 million per season — or half of the Celtics’ offer of $6 million per year for two years. The most the Heat could offer is three years and $9.5 million. The sources did not go into specifics, saying Allen is torn because remaining a Celtic is still very much an option.
For over a week, rumors have swirled that Allen would join the NBA champs’ stockpile of future hall of famers (much to the collective moan of basketball fans outside of Florida). Even LeBron James has appeared quite hopeful at the idea. Even more so speaking to reporters after practice on Friday at Team USA training camp in Las Vegas.
“I haven’t talked to Ray,” LeBron said. “My sales pitch is we’re trying to win a championship every year and we got the pieces to do it. He’d be a great addition to our team. We would love to have him. He would play a big role in us trying to repeat and we’ll see what happens. Ray is a veteran guy, he understands what it means to win a championship and hopefully he’ll want to do it with us.”
It’s all up to Allen now. Do you side with loyalty and the money, or, when realizing your old team has already found your replacement, do you throw all that loyalty garbage out and say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” (which seems to be the latest rage these days)? That’s the decision Allen faces. Whatever he’s thinking, this much is clear: Ray Allen to the Heat might not be such a sure thing after all.
UPDATE (10:10 ET): According to several prominent NBA reporters via Twitter, Allen’s decided on the Heat. This after Heat owner Micky Arison tweeted this Friday night:
Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news.Welcome to the family #20!!
— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 7, 2012