Thursday, July 5, 2012
Ray Allen to visit Heat, Clippers
Free agent SG Ray Allen will be in Miami-Dade County this afternoon to meet with Pat Riley and the Miami Heat. Allen will also reportedly travel to Los Angeles on Friday for a meeting with the Clippers. Sources say LeBron James and Chris Paul are heavily recruiting the 10-time NBA All-Star.
In terms of money, the Heat can only offer Allen their $3.09 million mini-level-exception, while the Clippers will be able to offer their $5 million mid-level-exception (the Celtics are reportedly willing to pay Allen $5-6 million per year). Although Miami cannot match these offers dollar for dollar, we must remember Miami has no state tax, warm weather year round and arguably the best chance to win the title next year. Ray will be able to start and play a prominent role in the offense which is exactly what he is looking for.
Although a deal has not been finalized nor announced, I definitely think Ray will end up in Miami. A source told me Allen is working out a deal with the Heat at the moment and it is "95% complete." I have not received any confirmation on that yet, but it seems to be only a matter of time before Ray Allen becomes the newest member of the Miami Heat.
We should be getting some more information as the day progresses, so stay tuned for updates.
P.S. People are asking how the deal could be 95% done while Ray is still scheduled to meet with the Clippers tomorrow. First off, he doesn't have to travel out to LA to meet with Clippers management if he likes what he sees from Miami (Pat Riley is an extremely polarizing figure/salesman). Secondly, Allen may travel out to Los Angeles simply to give the Clippers his due diligence, only to return back to Miami and reach an agreement with the Heat on either Saturday or Sunday. So in conclusion, just because Ray may visit the Clippers doesn't mean this deal can't get done today, and also if Ray does travel out to LA, that doesn't mean the Heat are out of the running.
**UPDATE** (6/5/12 2:15 PM ET) The LA Clippers have come to terms with Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups. Also, the Clippers recently announced they have cancelled their meeting with Ray Allen. In other words, it looks like Ray will be taking his talents to South Beach (I wouldn't be surprised if a deal is in place before the end of today).
**UPDATE** (6/5/12 8:30 PM ET) Ray Allen is staying overnight in Miami as discussions continue between him and the Heat. It looks like its down to Boston and Miami at this point, but considering Avery Bradley and Jason Terry are both there, I definitely still think Ray goes to the Heat.
**UPDATE** (6/6/12 12:45 PM ET) Ray Allen has reportedly reached a verbal agreement with the Miami Heat.