The Clippers are banking on it. The Clips need help at the three (Jared Dudley did not work out as planned last season) and they are targeting Pierce, something reported by multiple outlets. Here is Marc Stein of ESPN for an example.
Clippers, I'm told, believe they have real chance of stealing Paul Pierce away from Nets now that Jason Kidd no longer coaching in Brooklyn
A reminder of the obvious point, Pierce played for Clippers coach Doc Rivers in Boston and they won a title together. Doc has been big on getting guys that played for him or well against him in the past.
The Clippers don’t need a lot of point production out of the three, they just need someone who can space the floor from three (Pierce hit 37.3 percent from beyond the arc last year) and is enough of an offensive threat that you hesitate to double off him to get to Blake Griffin or Chris Paul. Pierce is still that, even though he will turn 37 before the start of next season. The Clippers are a deep team (and Doc Rivers practices less than any coach in the league) so there wouldn’t be excessive wear and tear on Pierce, his minutes could be limited.
The Clippers were not alone in expressing interest in Pierce on the first night of free agency. Other teams that reportedly reached out to Pierce include the Trail Blazers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Mavericks and Rockets, according to multiple reports.
What about Brooklyn? They apparently want to see what the market is for Pierce then decide if they want to match or beat that offer. The Nets have Pierce’s Bird rights so they can go over the cap to match (well, they are already way over the cap).
What Pierce decides is expected to play a big role in whether Kevin Garnett returns to the Nets next season or decides to hang up his sneakers and leave the game.
Nets’ Greivis Vasquez pulls out of Olympics for Venezuela
If you want to know what this means for the Venezuelan team heading into Rio, well, they shot just 23.9 percent in an 80-45 loss to Team USA Friday night in Chicago — and that was by far the USA’s worst performance in the exhibition run-up to the Rio Games.
Vasquez should be getting decent minutes off the bench behind Jeremy Lin in Brooklyn this season. They need him healthy as the team tries to move from “god awful” to just plain “not good” next season.
Report: Monty Williams to accept role on Spurs coaching staff next season
Monty Williams is one of the better assistant coaches in the NBA right now, and he was available (remember he understandably left Oklahoma City last season after the tragic death of his wife). He’s part of Mike Krzyzewski’s staff with USA Basketball this summer — watch him in practices at age 44 and he’s a better defender plenty of players in the league — and he wanted to get back on the bench.
Sources told ESPN that Williams — who left the Oklahoma City Thunder’s bench in February after the tragic death of his wife, Ingrid — has been urged by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to take as much of a role with the organization as he feels comfortable for the 2016-17 campaign.
The specifics of what role Williams would fill and how much time he could commit have not yet been determined, but sources say San Antonio has opened the door to either a coaching and player-development role or a front-office position (or a hybrid), depending on what he prefers.
One source close to Williams told ESPN that the 44-year-old “absolutely” intends to be a head coach in the league again after his expected stint with the Spurs. The source also said numerous teams, including Oklahoma City, have made similar offers to Williams for next season.
Williams will get another shot in the big chair down the line. In the short term, this is a smart move — nothing looks better on a resume than “Spurs” around the league right now.
Team USA has sing-along on plane leaving Chicago. Well, except for ‘Melo.
Like “Stillwater” in Almost Famous, Team USA’s Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green and Kyrie Irving were leading a sing-along of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” on the team plane out of Chicago to Houston for the USA’s final exhibition game. Hat tip Alysha Tsuji who pulled the snapchats.
How could you hate this team 😂 TEAM USA 🏀 singing A Thousand Miles on the plane: 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
There were a lot of ugly things for Team USA in its exhibition win over Venezuela — the 4-of-25 shooting from three comes to mind. There was more, it was not a strong offensive performance from Team USA.
But like usual, we can overwhelm teams with athleticism, and that means wins and highlights. Like Kyle Lowry‘s tip-pass alley-oop to Jimmy Butler.