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NBA Playoffs: Ray Allen steadily increasing his free agent value

May 12, 2010, 12:06 PM EDT

Let’s keep it simple, for starters: Ray Allen is old. Soon to be 35-years-old, in fact. That means that when Allen enters free agency this summer, a number of teams will see him as a bit too much the elder statesman to be part of their rebuilding projects, and a few quasi-contenders may also take a pass to avoid inking an aging shooting guard to a long-term contract.

It’s hard to dispute the fact that there are plenty of iffy fits for Allen in terms of his age and ability at this point in his career. Yet with each sweet-shooting performance for the Celtics in this year’s playoffs, he comes one step closer to making bank with a team looking to provide perimeter scoring.

Ray is having his best postseason run as a Celtic, and he’s currently averaging Boston career highs in true shooting percentage (62.1%) and PER (16.1). He may turn 35 this summer, but Allen certainly isn’t playing like it. Right now, that’s translating into wins, as Boston is 5-0 in playoff games this year in which Allen scores 20+ points. But later, it’ll be translating into dollars, as Ray’s value in this series will undoubtedly earn him a few extra dollars on the deal he inks this summer. Here’s Doug Smith of the Toronto Star on the subject:

It can also be said – and will be said – that Boston’s Ray Allen has
made himself a whack of money with his oft-overwhelming performance in
these playoffs; a free agent to be who may now find many teams
clamouring to throw cash his way in July.

Allen has been outstanding at times – like in his five
three-point gem on Tuesday night – and you could make the case that
he’s the difference in the Celtics. When he’s making tough, contested
shots, they win. Anyway, he’s also without a contract at the end of this season
I guarantee you there are GMs out there salivating at the chance to
make him an offer.

Yes, he’ll be 35 when next season rolls around and, yes, he’s not the greatest of defenders in the history of the game. But, man, can he shoot and it would not surprise me in the least
if some team didn’t offer him a three-year deal at the mid-level
exception (maybe with the third year non-guaranteed) because there is
an awful lot of value left in those old bones.

Considering the generally poor returns on midlevel deals, Smith’s notion that Allen could be had for three years at the midlevel would be a pretty decent bang for a team’s buck. It’s tough to predict exactly how good Allen will be when nearing 38 (especially on the defensive end), but it’s worth noting that Reggie Miller, the most organic comparison for Allen, was still a capable player at 39.

It seems unlikely that Ray will be in Boston next season as the Celtics look to retool for a run at a later date, though there’s always a possibility that an extended postseason sprint this season could keep the band together for another tour. Should Allen leave, there are a number of contending teams that could vie for his services, particularly if he’s available for the MLE.

  1. Clint - May 12, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Ray allen is one of the most likeable guys in the league;an exemplary player and an exceptional team mate.I didnt like him as a buck,but he’s great as a celtic.If reggie stayed until age 39, Allen can easily duplicate that feat if he so chooses.He is good for any team that wants a professional player with a clean image, a deadly shot and reliable free throw shooter.Great shooting last night Ray!

  2. JS - May 13, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    Ray,is always and has always been the Ray of Hope or Light for any team.
    Good going Ray and Good Luck.

  3. drae 230 - May 18, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    IF you take ray Allen off the Celtics the Celtics have no chnce in the playoffs next year i just saying keep Ray Ray

  4. Amber - Jun 5, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    I am a huge Ray Allen fan! I love him to death! He is my hero! I do everything like him! I can shoot just like him! When I play basketball I miss about 2 threes a game! I make at least 15 points per game! My free throw shooting is over 90%! I just dont want Ray Allen leavin Celtics! If they dont win a championship this year they need to have one more chance to win one! The Big Three is the best! Yes i agree, he is getting old but he still shoots like he is 20! He is the 2nd best three point shooter in history! Soon to be number one! IF you want him to pass Reggie Miller, Celtics you have to keep him! He has made a lot of buzzer beaters for the Celtics and I think he is the only one that can shoot over 90 percent free throw shooting! People might think that is easy but its not! Ray Allen is an outstanding player! If he leaves the Celtics I will honestly Cry! He needs to be on the celtics until he retires! Please Celtics keep him for 3 more years! And Let him be the best three point shooter in history! He only needs about 300 more threes and I promise he is a great player and loyalty to his team mates! I just hope yall will keep him! When I hear about him leaving I start to cry cause i dont want him to leave! Please Celtics && Ray Allen please stay and keep him! Loveyou Ray && Celtics! BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT LLLLLLLLLLL-AAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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