Would Paul Pierce agree to this if DeAndre Jordan were leaving town? Maybe, but it seems far less likely.
Paul Pierce has decided to leave the red, white, and blue of our nation’s capital for the red, white, and blue of a team on the other coast — the one in his hometown of Los Angeles.
He is going to reunite with his old coach Doc Rivers and try to lead the Los Angeles Clippers over the hump, something first reported by Dan Woike of the Orange County Register:
That works out to basically $10 million over the three years, and the third year is a team option. A couple days ago it seemed Pierce — the 10-time All-Star and NBA champion in Boston — did not want to give the Clippers a discount, that he was leaning toward staying a Wizard. However, the pull of his home town proved too much.
The Clippers have been looking to upgrade at the three this off-season. They shipped out Matt Barnes but brought in Lance Stephenson, but Rivers said he hoped to bring Stephenson off the bench. This signing allows them to do that, although Stephenson may play more minutes than Pierce.
Pierce turns 38 next season but his crafty, veteran game that ages well. He averaged 11.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three last season. The challenge is that he had more success playing at the four, while the Clippers have Blake Griffin at the four and would use Pierce more at the three. That spot has been a challenge to him in recent seasons, particularly defensively.
Still, the Clippers think they got a guy who can knock down big shots in big moments — “I called game.” The Clippers have that in Chris Paul but wanted more veteran presence.
But if Jordan bolts, this move could be moot. Which is why it seems Pierce might know something.
Memphis needs more help on the wings. They have an excellent, old-school front like with Marc Gasol — who almost certainly will re-sign in Memphis — and Zach Randolph, but they need to space the floor with shooting. They traded for Matt Barnes, who fits their grit-and-grind style but also shot 36 percent from three last season. They’ve been linked to talks for Denver’s Danilo Gallinari.
And they went after the Nets’ Joe Johnson.
However, the deal fell apart, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.
The teams could not find a workable deal and have tabled discussions, but sources told ESPN.com that the Nets were encouraged enough in general to believe that they will ultimately find a trade taker for Johnson’s mammoth contract, which only has one season left to run but at a massive $24.9 million in 2015-16.
The Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons are among the other teams, like Memphis, to register exploratory interest in Johnson in recent months, but trades made recently by both teams — with the Hornets acquiring Nicolas Batum from Portland and the Pistons nabbing Ersan Ilyasova from Milwaukee — would appear to take them out of the Johnson mix.
The first takeaway here is that the Grizzles are serious about getting some more firepower on the wings this season. Finally.
The other (and it’s not a surprise, it’s been talked about before) is that the Nets want to move both Johnson and Deron Williams this summer as they remake their roster and work to get under the luxury tax line. It was always more likely that Johnson would be traded — while he is owed $24.9 million next season it is the last year of that deal. Plus he still provides value on the court, scoring 14.4 points a game and shooting 35.9 percent from three last season. While his game has slipped from its peak and he’s not super efficient, he can still make some plays.
Moving Deron Williams — whose game has slid farther and who is owed $43 million over the next two seasons — will be more challenging. Brooklyn also is shopping point guard Jarrett Jack.
This has been expected for a while — even the Washington Wizards admitted this was coming — but on Saturday Paul Pierce made it official, he is becoming a free agent.
Pierce retweeted this from the Players Tribune.
Pierce will turn 38 next season, but his “old man at the Y” crafty game still gets the job done — he averaged 11.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three. He has thrived more as a small four the last few seasons.
Teams are going to be lined up to land him.
The Wizards want to bring him back, to start. Here is what GM Ernie Grunfeld told J. Michael at CSNWashington.com.
“We want Paul back obviously. I think he had a good year here,” said Grunfeld on Friday after the team introduced first-round draft pick Kelly Oubre at Verizon Center. “He enjoyed his teammates. He enjoyed the city. He enjoyed the environment in the city.
“He’s going to be a free agent. It’s his call but if you ask me if we want him back — absolutely.”
However, the front runners to land Pierce, if you ask around the league, are the Los Angeles Clippers. They are looking for a new starting three (they traded Matt Barnes, but want to bring Lance Stephenson off the bench) and someone with playoff experience to help them over the hump in the West. Plus they are coached by Pierce’s old friend Doc Rivers.
The Celtics are interested as well, trying to pitch Pierce and Kevin Love on coming to Boston (well, for Pierce back to Boston).
Of course, money will play a factor. The Wizards can offer up to $5.5 million to Pierce (the max raise they can give under the CBA), and other teams will need to be at least in that ballpark or higher.