Ray Allen is going to be a popular guy Sunday.
The Heat, according to sources, have made Allen their prime offseason target and will pursue him strongly when free agency opens Sunday at 12:01 a.m. ET.
They intend to offer him their $3 million mini-mid-level exception, a chance to win another title and significant playing time as they continue with the plan to play LeBron James as a power forward in the future. Heat players, including James and Dwyane Wade, have been publicly and privately recruiting Allen over the last month.
Boston can offer more money (they have his Bird rights), a level of comfort with the players and organization, and the chance to chase another ring with Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.
If it is just about the ring or playing time, Miami is going to win out. In Boston Avery Bradley will be the starting two guard and Allen would be the sixth man with decreasing minutes. (And Boston fans, Miami is much closer to a title. Yes, you took them seven games in the conference finals but five of those were without Chris Bosh and while Dwyane Wade was dragging around a left knee that needed surgery. The Heat will be better next year.)
The Suns also are reportedly interested in making a run at Ray Allen, and other teams will be in the mix as well. But it almost certainly comes down to Miami vs. Boston.
It really comes down to what matters most to Ray Allen. I would say the longer Allen takes to make a decision, the more likely he returns to Boston.