Ray Allen has agreed to join the Miami Heat, his agent, Jim Tanner, confirmed to SI.com.
The former Boston sharpshooter and NBA's all-time leading three-point shooter was choosing between the Celtics, Heat, Minnesota and Memphis after his visit to Miami late this week. But while a decision wasn't expected until this weekend, Heat owner Micky Arison broke the news on his Twitter account on Friday evening while London.
"Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news," he wrote. "Welcome to the family #20!!" Asked if Arison had his facts straight about Allen joining his team, Tanner wrote in a text, "Yes."
In choosing to join the league champions, Allen stunned the legions of Celtics fans -- and likely players -- who had grown to despise the Heat ever since they formed what appeared to be a super team two summers ago and had so many memorable battles. While Boston reportedly offered a two-year deal worth $12 million, the Heat could only offer their mini midlevel exception that capped out at three years and a combined $9 million. Even with the heavy interest in Allen, the Celtics were confident in recent days that he would return. They came to terms with forward Kevin Garnett on a three-year, $34 million deal, did a deal with forward Brandon Bass (three years, $20 million), added former Dallas super sixth man Jason Terry and were also expected to re-sign forward Jeff Green.
With small forward Paul Pierce and point guard Rajon Rondo still on contract, it appeared the Celtics would be able to keep its core together for yet another championship run after they fell to Miami in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. But Allen had long been known to be conflicted in Boston, in large part because general manager, Danny Ainge, had attempted to trade him on numerous occasions in recent years. Then last season, Allen lost his starting job to second-year shooting guard Avery Bradley. There were rumblings about a frayed relationship with Rondo as well, as league sources have long insisted that the friction between those players is very real. Whatever the reason, Allen is heading for Miami and the Heat just got a whole lot better -- again.