Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 4/20/12

The Boston Celtics have been playing some great basketball since the All-Star break. Kevin Garnett found the Fountain of Youth, Paul Pierce doesn't seem to be slowed by age, Brandon Bass has been playing well in the paint and Avery Bradley defense and offensive input has been one of the bigger surprises for Boston this season.

However, one player who has been quietly been relegated to the bench in favor of Bradley, and has seen a diminished role is Ray Allen.

Aside from dealing with injuries this season, he was almost dealt to the Grizzlies but the trade was nixed and Allen remains a Celtic.

And although he has been the consummate pro, not making waves considering the playoffs are near, the near-trade might have stung him a bit and according to boston.com, Allen may not be with Boston next season.

Allen wants to finish this season with a championship, but the likelihood of his return next season has diminished.

There is no doubting what Allen has brought to the Celtics since his arrival. A deadly shooter, clutch shooting, veteran presence, and leadership which has brought the franchise yet another banner to hang in Boston.

And if indeed this is Allen's last season, he will handle it like a pro and move on to the next team should he decide to continue to play on despite his age. Which I am sure he will seeing how he is a physical specimen.

In the end it will be a business decision for Boston. Allen has an expiring contract, which could be very enticing for a team looking for cap-space relief, or he could be what a young team (like Memphis) is looking in a veteran player. Let's not forget Boston might be considering a youth movement next season seeing how their core (Allen, Garnett and Pierce) will be getting older which makes Allen somewhat expendable.

Of course should Boston win it all this season, and Allen does capture another NBA title, what a fitting way for him to sail off than that story-book ending with the Celtics.

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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