July 6, 2012 in Sports

NBA champion Heat make pitch to Allen

Tim Reynolds Associated Press
 

Allen
(Full-size photo)

MIAMI – Ray Allen seems to be taking a serious look at joining the NBA champion Miami Heat.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the free-agent guard visited the Heat in Miami on Thursday. Allen was planning to remain in South Florida until today, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because no details of the meeting were publicly revealed.

Miami’s desire to add Allen is no secret. League MVP LeBron James has tweeted about the notion, and posted a doctored-up image of Allen wearing a Heat jersey on his Facebook page earlier this week with the message, “This looks damn good to me.”

Dwyane Wade posted a cryptic message on his Twitter account Wednesday night, saying Thursday would be “a big day” for the Heat.

No deal could be finalized until at least Wednesday because of the NBA’s moratorium.

Allen, who played with the Seattle SuperSonics from 2003-07, has spent the last five seasons with the Boston Celtics, who have offered the NBA’s 3-point field goal leader a $12 million, two-year deal. The Heat – who have ousted Boston from the past two NBA postseasons – can only offer Allen the mini midlevel exception, which would pay about $3 million this coming year.

Allen averaged 14.2 points for Boston this year.

From an offensive standpoint, Allen would seem to be a perfect fit because the Heat have spent two years trying to surround James, Wade and Chris Bosh with shooters who extend defenses and create room around the basket. Miami was 9-1 in the playoffs when connecting on at least eight 3-pointers in a game, and just 7-6 when not.

Allen is coming off surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle. But he clearly can still shoot, and made a career-best 45 percent of his attempts from 3-point range for the Celtics this past season.

<p>NBA.com also reported that the Heat would meet with another free-agent target, Rashard Lewis, on Saturday.

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