Rashard Lewis will meet with Ray Allen in Miami
After guiding the Heat to a championship in 2006, team president Pat Riley kept the roster mostly intact and bypassed the chance to make major changes.
Riley has taken a different approach this time around. The Heat officially made 2 key veteran additions to their championship core by signing Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to agreements on the 1st day NBA teams were allowed to consummate deals with free agents.
By bringing on board Allen, the Heat not only pick up a player who is the league’s best-ever leader in 3-point field goals, they also swipe a key contributor from a Boston Celtics team that was Miami’s chief rival in the East.
Allen, 36 years old, turned down a 2 year, $12 million offer to come back to the Celtics and accepted a 3-year contract with the Heat, who were limited to only their mini-midlevel quantity of just more than $3 million per season.
Lewis, 32 years old, reached a deal for $2.6 million over 2 years at the veterans’ minimum. He also received more than $13 million in a buyout from the Hornets after he was traded last month by the Wizards. Online Sportsbook
In Allen and Lewis, the Heat gains 2 players who have made a career out of spreading the floor and knocking down 3-pointers. That skill set is a priority in Miami, where shooters are expensive around LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who led the Heat to a championship after defeating Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals last month.
Allen, a 16-year vet, has made 2,718 3-pointers and averaged 20 points over a career which has included stops in Milwaukee and Seattle before he was traded to Boston 5 years back. A key member of the Celtics’ Big Three alongside Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Allen helped lead Boston to a championship in their 1st season together in 2008.
But Allen chose to walk away from the Celtics after a turbulent season, during which he was secretly irritated with trade rumors in February, issues with colleague Rajon Rondo, and an ankle injury that eventually required surgery last month to get rid of bone spurs. Allen confirmed that there were “differences” with squad generally, but did not mention Rondo by name.
In the meantime, the Heat made acquiring Allen their top priority to add depth to a perimeter rotation that includes Shane Battier, Mike Miller and James Jones. Riley claimed that Miller, who was hobbled by back issues late last season, is scheduled to meet up with doctors again this week to determine whether surgery is obligatory.
Lewis, a 14-year veteran, has been slowed by wounds every one of the past 2 seasons and has been on a steady decline since 2009, when he helped the Orlando Magic reach the NBA Finals, where they lost to the L.A Lakers.
A combination of problems with both knees and a thigh limited Lewis to a reduced role in Washington, but the 6-foot-10 forward has averaged 16.1 points and 5.6 rebounds over his career. Lewis hopes that playing with Miami’s elect playmakers – controlled by James, the regular-season and Finals MVP – will help revive his productiveness.