Paul Pierce has one year remaining on his contract with the Wizards, but it’s a player option, which means he can walk away from it to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
If he were to do that, it has been speculated that he would end up with the Clippers.
Nothing has been decided on Pierce’s end, but L.A. reportedly remains interested if Pierce chooses to make himself available.
From Robert Morales of InsideSoCal.com:
The Clippers remain interested in bringing small forward Paul Pierce to Los Angeles, a league source told us today, but that Pierce would first have to opt out of his current contract with the Washington Wizards, which he can do.
The Clippers believe they’re close to championship contention, but will need to add the proper pieces to the roster to get over that hump — a job Doc Rivers admitted wouldn’t be easy.
L.A. is already in a difficult position from a salary cap perspective, and that won’t change anytime soon if the team can get DeAndre Jordan to re-sign on a max contract that Rivers has already said will be offered.
Bringing in someone like Pierce on something resembling a minimum deal would be huge for L.A., both because of his prior relationship with Rivers while the two were together in Boston, and because of just how effective he can still be in some of the postseason’s biggest moments.
But Washington has been good to Pierce, so it’s unclear if he’s truly interested in bolting the Wizards just yet.
This year’s Cavaliers team is far more talented than the one LeBron James took to the Finals back in 2007, especially on the offensive end of the floor; Kyrie Irving essentially makes that true all by himself.
But throughout Cleveland’s run to this point in the postseason, James is still spending too much of his time trying to score out of plays where he ends up in isolation. And according to the numbers, it appears as though it’s a trend that needs to stop.
From NBA.com’s SportVU Finals preview:
LeBron James has been the individual isolation leader in the playoffs with 192 in 14 games, which is more than the total for every team in the playoffs apart from Houston who totaled 210. James has only shot 37% on shots out of an isolation, and while dominant near the basket shot a total of just 4/24 from beyond the arc.
That’s way too much isolation, especially when the results look like this.
Irving will need to play a more prominent role in helping to facilitate the offense in the matchup against the Warriors to help James avoid being placed in these situations. And, James should be made aware of what’s happening, and what the numbers reflect, in order to be in a position to improve things himself.
If he does insist on attacking this way (or if head coach David Blatt continues to run sets where this is the end result), LeBron needs to force the issue with strong drives all the way to the basket, instead of settling for long jumpers outside — especially those from three-point distance, though he’s been relatively brutal from midrange, as well.
The NBA has a strict set of guidelines for how it deals with players who have been diagnosed with a concussion.
But for the protocol to even begin, that diagnosis has to take place first.
As we’ve seen in two recent cases with the Golden State Warriors, getting that pronouncement to be made is a difficult proposition. Both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were cleared to return to play after taking hits to the head, because the symptoms of a concussion weren’t yet present.
Doctors will tell you that there are times when a concussion won’t be fully evident until several hours later; in Thompson’s case, he wasn’t officially diagnosed until days later. This is obviously troubling from a safety standpoint, so the NBA Players Association has hired neurologists to see if more needs to be done to protect its players.
From the Associated Press:
The union has hired neurologists to examine the policy and determine whether any changes are needed to prevent players from playing with an undiagnosed concussion. …
[Union head Michele Roberts] is not convinced that players shouldn’t be held out longer out of caution after being hit in the head. While stressing that she is a lawyer, not a doctor, and that she will wait to hear what the medical experts tell her, she also said one player being allowed back in a game with a concussion is too many.
“That number is sufficient to make us all look at whether we want to risk a player’s health for a game,” she said. “To say it happens so rarely or doesn’t happen frequently enough to change the rules is not enough. We’re talking potentially about someone’s life. I don’t think we should play an odds game when it comes to a player’s life.”
There should probably be a lower threshold than “concussion” for players being held out of action after taking a hit to the head that requires a locker room examination. It makes sense for the union to do what it can to pursue a more reasonable solution than the one currently in place.