Miami Heat: Ray Allen schedules Thursday free-agency visit with Heat

Agent Jim Tanner confirmed Tuesday to the South Florida Sun Sentinel that guard Ray Allen will meet Thursday with the Heat.

  Heat President Pat Riley is currently at his Los Angeles-area home, but Tanner said Allen's meeting with the Heat would be in South Florida.

  The NBA free-agency period opened Sunday, with free-agent signings not allowed until July 11, as the league computes the 2012-13 salary cap. Allen spoke with the Heat by phone Monday.

   According to NBA.com and ESPN, Allen is scheduled to meet Friday with the Los Angeles Clippers, who are in position to not only exceed the Heat's $3.1 offer of the taxpayer mid-level exception, the most the Heat can offer, but potentially also offer a starting job alongside Chris Paul.

  Allen has a reported standing offer on the table to return to the Boston Celtics at twice the yearly salary the Heat can offer, but apparently was not pleased with the way he was stripped of his starting job there last season in favor of Avery Bradley.

  With the Heat, Allen also would be counted on as a reserve, with Dwyane Wade locked in at shooting guard.

  Asked to define Allen's free-agency priorities, Tanner declined.

  The Heat already have begun somewhat of a recruiting effort for Allen, with LeBron James posting on his Twitter account last week, "While watching the Draft my son Bryce ask "Is Ray Allen gonna play for the Heat". I said "I don't know, I hope so".

  Allen started for the Celtics in their seven-game ouster at the hands of the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals after Bradley was sidelined by a shoulder injury.

  Allen also is being pursued by the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves, but those two teams, according to NBA.com, have yet to secure visits from the 36-year-old 3-point specialist.

  Riley last week stressed 3-point shooting as an offseason priority, as a means to open the floor for Wade, James and forward Chris Bosh. The Heat also have reached out to New Orleans Hornets free-agent forward Rashard Lewis, another 3-point specialist.

Follow Ira Winderman at twitter.com/iraheatbeat

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