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Ray Allen exercises player option to return to Heat next season

Ray AllenRay Allen will seek the third title of his career with the Heat next year. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Heat announced Friday that guard Ray Allen has exercised his player option and will remain with Miami for the 2013-14 season.

Allen, 37, signed a two-year, $6.3 million contract with the Heat in 2012 after spending the previous five seasons with the Celtics. What initially looked like one of last summer's best signings paid huge dividends in Game 6 of the Finals against the Spurs, when Allen hit a three-pointer to force overtime. The Heat, trailing in the series 3-2 at the time of Allen's shot, went on to win in overtime, take Game 7 and secure their second consecutive NBA championship.

Why break up a good thing? Allen's decision hardly comes as a surprise. The 10-time All-Star got exactly what he wanted from Miami: the second title of his career. Miami got exactly what they wanted from Allen: floor-spacing three-point shooting and steady play in the postseason.

Miami is in position to return virtually its entire rotation as the pursuit of a three-peat kicks into full gear next season. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Norris Cole and Joel Anthony are all under contract for next season. Reserve big man Chris "Birdman" Andersen expressed a desire to return to the Heat during a rally celebrating the team's title earlier this week.

Allen averaged 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in 79 appearances last season. The NBA's all-time leading three-point shooter in terms of both makes and attempts also shot 44.9 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from deep in 2012-13.
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