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.
The Los Angeles Clippers want their shot and believe they have a chance. The Celtics and a handful of other teams would like the chance for a sit down.
But in the end, Paul Pierce may well remain a Washington Wizard.
Pierce has officially opted out and become a free agent, but the Wizards like their chances, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Pierce can still help a team, despite turning 38 next season. He has a crafty, veteran game that ages well — he averaged 11.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three last season. He’s still relatively efficient on offense, but he’s more of a concern on the other end of the court.
The Wizards had success last season, particularly in the playoffs, with Pierce at the four. The Clippers have Blake Griffin at the four and would use Pierce more at the three, which has not been as kind to him in recent seasons. That and the fact he likes John Wall and Bradley Beal plays in the Wizards favor as well. As for the Clippers, that is a different team if DeAndre Jordan chooses to return home to Texas.
Pierce likely isn’t going to make a snap decision, which is fine as the Wizards may feel like time is on their side.
Much to the annoyance of Wizards fans, coach Randy Wittman stuck with a big front line of Marcin Gortat and Nene for much of the season — partially because it worked. The Wizards were +7.6 points per 100 possessions with those two on the court together. But come the playoffs the Wizards moved Nene to the bench and played Pierce at the four far more, and that spaced out the floor and opened things up for John Wall. The Wizards were simply better going small.
Which means the Wizards wouldn’t mind trading Nene this off-season.
The problem is, there isn’t much interest around the league, reports J. Michael at CSNWashington.com.
The Wizards, CSNwashington.com has confirmed through two persons with knowledge of the situation, aren’t expected to move him during the offseason because there isn’t serious interest in the 13-year power forward who averaged 11 points and 5.1 rebounds. If Nene is eventually moved, it’ll likely occur closer to the trade deadline in February when most of his salary has been picked up by his current team and maybe a contender in need of a big man on an expiring deal could come calling.
The four spot will be what the Wizards try to deal with this summer. Paul Pierce has opted out and while the Wizards believe there is a 50/50 chance he returns, the feeling around the league is he is more likely to land in Los Angeles or another spot outside the nation’s capital.. The Wizards do not have anything resembling a stretch four on the roster and finding one is their off-season priority.
Wittman has said next season he wants to play Nene more at the five. Come the playoffs that meant more time as a backup to Gortat, and he saw minutes down the stretch of games because he worked better defensively against teams going small. That pattern likely continues. Once the Wizards find a stretch four.