BOSTON The fact that the Miami Heat are reportedly interested in Ray Allen comes as no surprise to Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
"You'll hear that and probably 10 other teams," Rivers said. "If they don't have interest in him, then they're crazy. But we have interest, too."
How much interest lies between the two sides is one of the central issues that will be worked out in some fashion in the coming weeks.
Allen has been replaced by Avery Bradley in the starting lineup, a move that has paid off well for the Celtics with Bradley providing a tough, gritty presence defensively while Allen had more freedom offensively when paired up with the C's second unit.
While Allen took the reassignment gracefully, there's no question he still feels he's good enough to not just start, but start for a contender.
And that makes the Heat situation all the more puzzling.
With Dwyane Wade at shooting guard and Mario Chalmers evolving into a more consistent performer at the point guard position, Allen's chances for playing significant minutes are probably even worse with the Heat than they are in Boston.
Plus, with the C's, Allen would get plenty of shot attempts as the Celtics' primary scorer off the bench.
But for Allen, the most important factor may come down to the number of years he is offered.
Tired of the annual trade rumors that have dogged him in Boston, a league source said Allen is seeking a deal with at least two years guaranteed that would to some degree, lessen the likelihood of him being moved at the trading deadline. It is unclear if the Celtics are willing to give him more than a one-year deal.
While many are ready to cast Allen off into the world of free agency, Rivers still has hope that a deal could be struck that would keep Allen in Boston.
"Ray is going to do what he should do, actually, " Rivers said. "Is look around and see (what's available). We'll be involved as well."
And as much as the Celtics clearly need an infusion of youth, bringing back veterans should as Allen isn't such a bad idea, either.
When asked about the kind of team he would like to see, Rivers said, "the team we had last year was nice; I mean the whole team, with everybody there. That would be very nice."