He could have shaken Danny Ainge’s hand last spring, thanked him for four good years in green and moved on to another city and another challenge. The Celtics were coming off a truncated season, a lockout was looming, and exit visas seemed possible for several players. But Ray Allen has been around the league long enough — 15 seasons with another starting on Sunday — to know when he’s comfortably situated.
‘‘We’ve all been on bad teams,’’ said the 36-year-old Allen, who endured half a dozen losing seasons in Milwaukee and Seattle before he arrived here. ‘‘When you understand what it’s like to be on a good team you don’t want to throw that away.’’
So less than a month after the season ended in Miami, Allen exercised his option to play on Causeway Street for another year at $10 million before anyone began wondering whether he’d return. ‘‘I didn’t even know he had an option to come back,’’ said captain Paul Pierce. ‘‘But I wasn’t surprised that he’s here.’’
Allen knew there was no guarantee that he wouldn’t be sent elsewhere amid a roster shuffle. Rajon Rondo was on the block once the lockout ended. And Glen Davis, who’d come to Boston at the same time as Allen, was dealt to Orlando.
‘‘I signed my contract, I expect to be here,’’ Allen said. ‘‘If anything happens, if I get traded, I still have an opportunity to play basketball. So when I chose to exercise my option to come back it basically gave me certainty for the time being, knowing I’m going to be here. But as business starts anything can happen.’’
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