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Ray Allen Free Agency Rumors 2012: Allen, Miami Heat Have 'Mutual Interest,' According To Report

Free agent shooting guard Ray Allen and the Miami Heat have mutual interest, according to a report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Allen hasn't ruled out a return to the Boston Celtics, but several reports have noted that he seems to have one foot out the door.

As Windhorst points out, the Heat won't have as much money to offer Allen as other teams. The most they can offer him is the mini mid-level exception, which begins at $3 million per season. Playing for the Heat would also require Allen to come off the bench, which he was reportedly upset to do during his final season in Boston, because it's impossible to imagine a non-injury scenario in which Allen starts ahead of Dwyane Wade.

But the Heat are the clear favorites to repeat as Eastern Conference champions next season and return to the NBA Finals to defend their crown. If Allen wants to remain a valuable component of a contender, Miami is an intriguing option. Plus, Allen would benefit from double-teams on Wade and LeBron James -- think about the NBA's most prolific three-point shooter ever shooting all those open jumpers Shane Battier and Mike Miller drained in the Finals.

For more Celtics Offseason 2012 coverage, visit our stream and blog, CelticsBlog.