Sabrina B.

Ray Allen hits the open market this summer, and if he doesn’t return to Boston, it could be because of some tension with a teammate.

Allen had “friction” with Rajon Rondo this year, according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, which could impact the veteran’s decision in free agency.

“I think there’s no question that the relationship was strained over this year,” Mannix said of Allen and Rondo during an appearance on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan. “How strained is the key, and it’s still a little bit unclear. There was some friction between those two. I think that could play a role in Ray’s decision not to come back. Now, I agree, I think that Boston probably wasn’t going to bring him back anyway, you’re right, it’s Avery Bradley’s job and Ray isn’t coming back to the Celtics to be a bench player, especially when he can be a bench player on a team that might be more likely to win a championship. But I think the relationship over the last year between Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo soured. Now, I’m not entirely clear as to how bad it got. But certainly I know that there was some legitimate, palpable friction between those two players and I think that will ultimately affect his decision in free agency.”

Allen battled through injuries this season, and, as Mannix mentioned, Bradley really emerged as a legitimate impact player before going down with a shoulder injury. As a result, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Allen leave Boston in free agency, although the news of “friction” is a bit shocking given how tight-knit the Celtics looked on the surface.