Ray Allen chase involves Celtics, Heat, Clippers, Grizzlies

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Ray Allen may be 36 and have to have off-season ankle surgery after fighting through bone spurs all playoffs long, but that’s not slowing teams down much.

The chase for Ray Allen seems to be a four team race, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com — Boston, Memphis, Clippers, Miami.

It really comes down to what Ray Allen wants most.

Boston is offering two years, $12 million (total, $6 million per year), which is more than any other team. They also offer familiarity, teammates he has a bond with and a side that thinks they a chance to contend (you can decide for yourself if the Celtics can make another run like the one they just had, I’m not sold). The question here: Is Allen willing to accept the sixth man role full time and come off the bench behind Avery Bradley?

Miami can only offer $3 million per year, the lure there would be a chance at a ring. The Heat just won one and we saw in Game 5 of the finals what that team looks like if guys are knocking down threes. Hard to say if he would start (you would have to go very small and shift Dwyane Wade to the small forward spot) but Allen would get plenty of minutes.

The Clippers are in the market for a starting two guard (they are talking about bringing back Chauncey Billups but he will not be all the way back from his Achilles injury). And they can offer the $5 million full mid-level exception. The Clippers have Chris Paul as a floor general and Blake Griffin, they are an up-and-comer in the West, but is that enough?

Memphis also is looking for a two guard and can offer the $5 million mid-level. The show in Memphis still runs through Zach Randolph on offense, with Rudy Gay option No. 2. Does Allen want to see how he fits in that mix? O.J. Mayo didn’t like it.

Smart money has Boston as the team to beat in this race, but in free agency just about anything can happen.