BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics' new Big Three will stay together to try for a second NBA title.
Ray Allen confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday night that he has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract to return to Boston. With Kevin Garnett under contract, Paul Pierce on the verge of a new four-year deal and coach Doc Rivers also agreeing to return, the Celtics can keep together the core of the 2008 NBA champions for at least two more years.
Allen's agent, Lon Babby, told the AP that the second year is a player option. NBA teams are not allowed to sign free agents until Thursday.
I find it odd that Allen would only go for a two-year deal (one if he chooses to opt out), considering the new CBA will neuter player salaries for a long time to come.
I guess this makes the Celtics the favorites again. Now comes the question of what to do with Rasheed Wallace's contract.
MD: You have to win, no matter what. SC: Why didn't you try that this year?
This gives the Celtics the chance to make a run this year, and if things don't work out well, they go into the 2011-12 season (should there be one) with expiring contracts of Garnett and Allen on the books. If they play well that year, they make a run and let the 2 walk, leaving Pierce and Rondo as the only real money on the books for about $25 million. If they don't play well, that is 2 large expiring contracts they can trade.
I love the Suns as much as anyone, but Wednesday night's game is a classic "Dead Man Walking" game. (see also: Red Sox-Mets Game 7 1986, Cardinals-Royals Game 7 1985, Red Sox-Angels Game 7 1986, Knicks-Bills Game 6 1993)