Paul Pierce, an unrestricted free agent, might want to join the Clippers. Not only do they play in his hometown, they employee his former coach, Doc Rivers.
But the Nets, who hold Pierce’s Bird rights, have some leverage.
The Clippers can offer Pierce no more than the non-taxpayer mid-level exception – $5,305,000 starting,$22,652,350 over four years – unless they convinced Brooklyn to do a sign-and-trade.
Alex Raskin of The Wall Street Journal:
If they really don’t care about payroll, they could offer Pierce a max contract to stay. It wouldn’t impact their ability to sign someone else. Whether or not they keep Pierce, the Nets would still have only the taxpayer mid-level exception – $3,278,000 starting,$10,550,175 over three years – to add a free agent.
Dangling players like Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Jared Dudley and Reggie Bullock probably won’t get it done for the Clippers.
Of course, this could just be posturing on Brooklyn’s part. If Pierce really wants to test the Nets, he could threaten to sign with the Clippers for the mid-level exception.
That could turn sign-and-trade discussions serious in a hurry. Maybe Crawford wouldn’t seem like such a bad consolation prize at that point.
Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.
As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:
Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7
Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.
An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.
Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.
But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.
The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.
Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.
The slow-motion replays are absolutely brutal.