July 11 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat player Ray Allen (left) listens to a reporter's question as head coach Erik Spoelstra (right) looks on during a press conference at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Despite assumptions that the Miami Heat signed Ray Allen to a three-year deal worth approximately $9.5 million -- the largest contract a team past the luxury tax threshold can give out -- the contract is actually only worth two years, and the marksman has a player option for the second year. The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson was first to report this development.
Miami's two free agent acquisitions, Allen and Rashard Lewis, can hit the market again next summer. A strong performance en route to a championship could lead to higher offers for either of them. In the past, James Posey (2008), Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea (2011) have signed generous contracts just weeks after contributing to championships. But the summer more important to the Heat is actually two years down the road. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all can opt-out of their contracts in 2014. That's also when contracts for Allen, Lewis, James Jones, Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers end. The Heat's ultimate finishes these next two years could determine what type of team the Heat have for the 2014-15 season.