Allen wants to stay with Celtics

Updated: June 18, 2010, 1:51 PM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

LOS ANGELES -- Set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Celtics guard Ray Allen said it's hard to think about his future until the sting of Thursday's Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals wears off.

But even in the aftermath of the crushing defeat, he indicated his preference is to be back in a Boston uniform next season.

"I'll deal with that when the time comes, but it's obvious that I don't want to be anywhere else," said Allen, who labored through 3-of-14 shooting, scoring 13 points in 45 minutes of action.

Asked later if Boston could replicate its postseason success next year with the same aging core, Allen said, "I don't see why not."

The question now becomes how much do the Celtics want Allen back, and will they be able to offer the same length of contract and money as other potential suitors.

[+] EnlargeRay Allen
AP Photo/Jae C. HongFree agent-to-be Ray Allen says he thinks the Celtics could make another title run next season -- if they remain intact.

Allen, who turns 35 this offseason, earned $19.8 million in the final year of an extension he signed with Seattle before being traded to Boston on draft night in 2007.

Although his salary was second only to Paul Pierce's on this year's team, Allen likely will see an offer from Boston that runs no more than two years -- extending to the season that Kevin Garnett's contract expires -- at maybe half the price he made this season.

Earlier this season, Allen said he'd prefer to be a lifetime Celtic.

"I'd like to be here," Allen said at the time. "There's no reason to be any other place. I'd love to retire with this organization. [But] that's up to the team. I want to be here. This team has proven over the decades to be a winner, one of the best in sports, and that's what this organization plans to do. I'm committed to it."

Allen averaged 16.3 points on 47.7 percent shooting with 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists during the regular season.

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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