With everyone and their mothers leaning toward free agency on the Miami Heat this summer, major roster upheaval has to be a concern in South Beach. But rest easy, Heat fans, because the guy who made one of the most phenomenal shots in NBA Finals history for you in 2013 looks like he’ll be returning to the league next year.
According to sources of ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Ray Allen is leaning toward returning to the NBA for his 19th season. Unfortunately for Heat fans, Allen might not necessarily return to Miami, since Windhorst says he wants to continue playing with LeBron James. As much as Miami is the safest bet for King James in, he isn’t necessarily a lock to return after opting for free agency this morning.
Allen and his family actually joined LeBron on the vacation he took with his family following Miami’s five-game Finals defeat, a vacation designed to give King James time to think about his upcoming decision. Allen will also be an unrestricted free agent, so if he returns, he’ll need to work out a new contract with the Heat.
Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in made three-pointers and at age 38, averaged 9.6 points per game on 44 percent shooting and 37.5 percent shooting from three-point range. He played 73 games and all 20 of Miami’s postseason games.
LeBron’s free agency decision, and now Ray Allen’s as well, seems like it could be heavily affected by what Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decide to do. If Wade and Bosh opt out of their contracts as well, the four of them could restructure their deals and take less money to keep the Heatles together while also freeing up some cap space to sign Carmelo Anthony or, at the very least, the kind of quality role players a championship team needs.
Either way though, four consecutive Finals appearances is nothing to scoff at. And even if this is the beginning of the end for the Heatles, at least Miami Heat fans will always have the fond memory of Ray Allen morphing into Jesus Shuttlesworth before their very eyes.