Free agent guard Ray Allen left his visit with the Miami Heat on Friday without making a decision on his future. For at least the time being, that means he has not been fully wooed by the immense charms of Pat Riley, who is known to persuade dead dogs into fetching frisbies. That might have been the strangest metaphor ever, but bear with me.
I would call it a good sign that Allen left Miami without giving a commitment, and it is. At least now there’s still a chance he returns to Boston. But it’s far from a definitive sign that Allen intends to continue calling the TD Garden his home court. He’s a calculated person who rarely makes any decisions on impulse. He will take his time to make the proper decision for himself and his family, whether that means staying in New England or sleeping with the proverbial wife’s best friend.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have entered the Allen sweepstakes, according to ESPN’s Ric Bucher, as a “jet-black dark-horse.” Presumably, that means they are the darkest of all horses (call them the Kueth Duany, if you will) — a real long shot to win Allen’s affection. One reason is that they are not considered title contenders. Another: there is a chance (if the Blazers fail to match Minnesota’s offer sheet for Nic Batum) the T’Wolves will have zero cap space to spend, which might make it somewhat difficult to sign a free agent expected to command a reasonable salary. Minnesota, which is also interested in Greg Stiemsma, could try to creatively work a sign-and-trade to land Allen (perhaps in return for young buck Derrick Williams, who has already reportedly been offered in a sign-and-trade for Batum). But Allen agreeing to sign with Minnesota, when he has not even planned a visit there, seems improbable.
Most likely, this is still a two-team race between the Heat and Celtics. Allen had dinner with the enemy on Thursday night and even took a picture with
those sons of bitches his other suitors to document the miserable time he must have had with those smarmy bastards people who paid for his dinner but hopefully won’t sign him to a three-year, $9.5-million contract. The Heat are also reportedly interested in Marcus Camby, who is said to be unwilling to take the veteran’s minimum. Maybe very interested in Camby. They could possibly acquire Camby in a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets while maintaining space for Allen, but that’s probably a long shot considering the Heat’s limited trade assets.
The result of all the wooing is probably Ray, sitting alone on his couch with an oxeye daisy and playing, “Ainge loves me, he loves me not.” The Celtics can offer familiarity and more money. The Heat provide a change of scenery and (damn it) a better shot at a title. The decision remains Ray’s.