Report: Ray Allen to Get Quick Offer From Heat, Who Want to Lock Him Up Early in Free Agency

Report: Ray Allen to Get Quick Offer From Heat, Who Want to Lock Him Up Early in Free AgencyIf Ray Allen is taking his talents to South Beach, the Heat would prefer an RSVP sooner rather than later.

The Heat have made the Celtics veteran "their prime offseason target and will pursue him strongly" when free agency begins Sunday morning just after midnight, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports.

Miami has risen on the list of landing spots for Allen in recent days. Although Allen would have to take far less money than he's been earning — $3 million on the midlevel exception — he'd be trading cash for a chance at another championship, this time with Miami's Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"We've got five or six guys earmarked [in free agency], so we'll see how it goes," Heat president Pat Riley said, according to ESPN. "We want to find as much space as we can on the floor for Dwyane, LeBron and for Chris to be able to operate."

The Heat would want to move quickly to grab Allen since they don't have much to offer him moneywise. Their biggest competition will be Boston, which can pay Allen more under NBA rules since he's been with the team. But plenty of other teams needing a hot shooter and veteran leadership and could find cap space for Allen, who has always been a phenomenal player on his own and could likely still contribute at a high level if cast in a supporting role.

Allen has said he's open to returning to the Celtics. On Sunday, the speculation will finally start to solidify.

Yardbarker

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