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Ray gets a raise in Italy

ALLAN RAY Two-year, $2 million deal ALLAN RAY Two-year, $2 million deal

Allan Ray will play overseas upon agreeing to a two-year contract with Italian Serie A team Lottomatica Roma worth $2 million, a league source said yesterday.

The deal is a significant pay increase for Ray, who would have earned $687,456 with the Celtics next season. Boston had until Wednesday to decide whether to pick up the option on the guard's contract.

Ray won't need to wait long to face NBA competition. The Toronto Raptors play Lottomatica Oct. 7 in Rome. The Celtics play the Raptors Oct. 6 in a preseason contest in Rome as part of NBA Europe Live.

As a rookie, Ray averaged 6.2 points in 15.1 minutes last season. But with the addition of shooting guard Ray Allen, Ray became expendable.

The Celtics will have the maximum 15 players under contract next season if they sign second-round picks Glen Davis and Gabe Pruitt.