SuperSonics, Ray Allen agree to $85 million deal, agent says
The Seattle SuperSonics and all-star guard Ray Allen have agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension, his agent Lon Babby said this morning.
The Associated Press
All-Star guard Ray Allen agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension with the Seattle SuperSonics, his agent said this morning.
Allen cannot sign the deal until the free-agent signing period begins July 22, but agent Lon Babby said Allen plans on signing the contract at the first available moment.
The contract includes $80 million in salary and $5 million in bonuses, although terms of the bonuses and the yearly breakdown of salary hasn't been determined.
Seattle spokesman Marc Moquin said the team couldn't comment on the agreement.
"We did wander in the desert for a while, before we got to the promise land," Babby said on a conference call. "When Ray became a free agent and we had the chance to explore opportunities, we were able to report back to the Sonics on what the market was dictating and they essentially responded accordingly."
Allen earned about $14 million this past season, and the two sides tried to negotiate a new deal during the regular season, but couldn't come to an agreement. Both sides started talks again after the playoffs.
"It took a long, long time, but except for momentary lapses, it was a completely amicable process," Babby said. "I think Ray comes back to Seattle with a piece of mind now that he's seen what is out there and decided the best place for him is in Seattle."
Allen averaged a career-high 23.9 points per game last season — 10th best in the NBA — as Seattle shocked the league by winning 52 games and the Northwest Division title. The Sonics were expected to be among the worst teams in the league after winning just 37 games the previous season and making few offseason improvements.
In the playoffs, Allen scored 26.5 points per game as the Sonics beat Sacramento in five games in the first round before falling to eventual NBA champion San Antonio in six games in the conference semifinals.
Allen spent his first 61/2 seasons in Milwaukee before moving to Seattle in February 2003 in a trade for Gary Payton. The UConn grad has averaged 20.6 points over his nine-year career.
Babby said Allen is keenly interested in the future of Seattle coach Nate McMillan, whose contract expired June 30.
"Nate's situation is certainly a factor," said Babby, who would not go into further detail. "(Ray) is committed to seeing this franchise move forward and succeed and I think he welcomes the opportunity to keep the team intact."
Allen is the first of Seattle's nine free agents to agree on a new deal. Other key unrestricted free agents include guard Antonio Daniels and center Jerome James.
Last week, the team extended qualifying offers to four restricted free agents, including key reserve forward Vladimir Radmanovic and starting power forward Reggie Evans.
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