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An asset like Cole would be better than nothing
Everyone loves the 3 Point King in Boston. There's no debating that. The Celtics front office love him too and that's why they offered to double Ray Allen's offer from the Heat. Ray chose to hold off on that $12 million offer and will be meeting with the Heat and Clippers the next couple days. The Celtics wisely had to cover their backs and made an offer to Jason Terry who accepted. This was key because if the Celtics lost Ray AND didn't replace him with someone comparable they'd be screwed.

The Celtics are still saying all the right things and are still publicly hoping Ray agrees to re-sign with Boston. Problem is with the signing of Terry, does returning to Boston now make sense for Ray? Ray likes to play big minutes to keep a good rhythm. There are only 96 minutes to go around at the guard position. Rondo and Terry averaged 37 and 32 respectively last season. That leaves 27 for Avery Bradley.

So where would Ray get his minutes? To start the season he might be fine (since Bradley might not be ready to go until December), but after that where do the minutes come from? Sure he can grab a few off Terry's 32 and yes he can play some small forward in small ball line-ups, but then he starts eating into Jeff Green's minutes backing up Pierce.

I'm sure Doc Rivers could make it work (and injuries often take care of about half the work), but ideally the Celtics could use a big man now more than Ray. The Celtics will be flirting with the luxury tax line and with Rondo, Bradley, Terry, Pierce, and Green set to play the 1-3 positions, spending $6 million a year for another perimeter player might not be prudent. Especially when that player would probably prefer to be in Miami if the money was equal. So instead of losing Ray for nothing, why not explore a sign-and trade.

The Heat don't really have anything to offer with the exception of Norris Cole and a pick or two. You could say, wait we don't need another small guard, but you wouldn't be thinking wisely. Cole would be an asset. Someone we could later move in another deal. The more assets you have the more options you have when a KG, CP3, Dwight Howard, Melo, etc become available. From the Clippers we'd probably also have to settle for a guard in Eric Bledsoe, but again he's better than nothing and also an asset. And then who knows what other teams would become possible Ray landing spots if a sign-and-trade became an option.

If Ray re-signs with the Celtics fans should be happy. Always better to have too many quality players at a position than too few, but if he's going to leave, Danny Ainge needs to get something back in return. Mavs received something when Chandler left. Suns received something today when Nash left. Shit even the Cavs got a few draft picks for LeBron and Bosh. Ainge needs to be talking to Ray and his agent on a daily basis, so that when Ray makes his decision, it's either Boston or somewhere else via a sign-and-trade.

JR 7/05/2012 03:07:00 AM Edit
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