Originally posted on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 4/20/12


Ray Allen may or may not have been told he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Regardless of the semantics, he knew the Celtics were close to trading him and would have dealt him if they found a package they liked. He, like the other members of the Big Three, was used as bait at the deadline as Danny Ainge looked to solidify the Celtics’ future, even if it came at a slight expense (or maybe more) to their present.

The Celtics’ willingness to ship Allen anywhere could return to harm them this summer when Allen hits the free agent market. According to the Boston Globe, the deadly shooter’s interest in returning to Boston after the season has declined.

It seems while the Celtics have undergone a resurgence – primarily because trades for Allen and Pierce never materialized – there has been a breakdown in communication and perhaps regard between management and those veteran players.

The wedge may be too late to close. Allen wants to finish this season with a championship, but the likelihood of his return next season has diminished.

Perhaps those are the prickly issues that arise when eras conclude, but this one should have been massaged and managed better to make the road to the next Celtics’ phase smoother.

In my mind, Allen was always the least likely of the Big Three to return. Paul Pierce has been a lifelong Celtic and his contract pays him$32 million over two more seasons. Kevin Garnett has more loyalty than 12 men and seems to genuinely enjoy everything about the Celtics organization. Allen, however, has always been the odd man out. He never received the love we show Pierce because he didn’t grown into a man in Boston. He never received the love we showered on Garnett because he wasn’t an MVP candidate when he arrived here. We all adore Ray Allen and his silky jump shot and the many times he’s risen to the occasion and drilled a huge shot, but he was always the third wheel in the Big Three. He just was.

He’s also someone who can help any contender as long as he can move laterally a little bit, because his jumper will always remain an asset. He’ll have plenty of opportunities this summer, and I wouldn’t expect him to give the Celtics any home-town discount. If he wants to chase another championship, elsewhere’s probably a great idea. I’ll wish him well wherever he goes, and for now, I’ll still hold onto a little hope that Allen will return to Boston and bless us once more with his precious shot-making.

Allen told the Boston Herald he’s not yet ready to retire, but he’s not sure whether he’ll remain a Celtic next season:

“It’s hard to say,” Allen said of whether he remains a Celtic. “The landscape always changes over the summer. Just from what I see around the NBA, there’s a lot of teams that look forward to having me. I just want to be somewhere where I’m valued, cherished and I can go out and play.

“By no means do I feel tired, or one foot in and one foot out. I attack it that way knowing that every day I can play, I can play 40 minutes, and I want to give that to whatever team I play for. The instant I feel I can’t do that is when I retire. And I’ll know it when it happens. But I don’t now.”

 

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