JULY 15 12:40pm: According to a Miami Herald report, Ray Allen's contract has a player option for the 2013-14 season, giving the lethal three-point shooter an opt-out opportunity should things not work out after the first year.
WEDNESDAY, 10:02am: The Heat have officially signed Allen, the team announced in a press release.
FRIDAY, 8:52pm: The Heat have reached agreement on a deal with free agent guard Ray Allen, Heat owner Micky Arison announced via Twitter. The agreement was confirmed by agent Jim Tanner, tweets Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. The veteran is widely expected to sign for the mini mid-level exception, worth $3.09MM per year.
"Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news. Welcome to the family #20!!," Arison announced.
Allen met with Miami on Thursday night without giving them an answer on their contract offer. The 36-year-old reportedly whittled his choices down to the Heat and Celtics, despite interest from other clubs including the Timberwolves and Grizzlies.
The C's were reportedly willing to give Allen a two-year deal worth $12MM – nearly double of the average annual value of Miami's offer. Several sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter) that the deterioration of Allen's relationship with point guard Rajon Rondo played a significant factor in his departure.
The Celtics effectively insured themselves against Allen's departure when they signed Jason Terry to a three-year deal for the mid-level exception. Despite adding another veteran guard to the mix, Boston still hoped to retain the sharp-shooting Allen. Terry should at least help to fortify Boston's perimeter shooting as he boasts a career 38% percentage from beyond the arc.
As for Miami, the defending champs have added yet another scoring threat in the backcourt to help keep defenses honest LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Allen averaged 14.2 PPG while shooting an eye-popping 45.3% from downtown in 46 games last season.