If "will Kevin Garnett retire?" is the million dollar question in Boston right now, then "will Ray Allen stay?" has to be the $999,999 question. This is something I have personally tousled about my brain for the better part of the last two weeks.

Is he worth the money? Will his ankles continue to fail him? Will he accept a bench role for the whole season? All these questions, and more, point to one all-inclusive inquiry: Can the Boston Celtics afford to keep Ray Allen?

The instinctive response is yes, of course they can afford him. With the obscene amount of cap room the Celtics have this summer, there isn't a player on the market they cannot afford.

However, the word afford, at least in this situation, takes on more than a monetary value. It isn't that they have insubstantial funds to offer him. It is that the franchise, in its current state and where they plan on going, cannot afford to make Allen a part of their plans.