Tag: Paul Pierce

Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers

Report: Clippers are “exploring” going after Paul Pierce. If he opts out.


The Clippers feel they need some roster upgrades — at the three and in terms of depth — if they are going to take the final step to compete for an NBA title with the core of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan. (They need to keep Jordan this summer, too.)

Team president Doc Rivers added Lance Stephenson via trade, but it’s bad news if Stephenson is starting. The Clips want to land another starting three this summer.

Like maybe Paul Pierce? That long-standing rumor still has legs, as reported most recently by Arash Markazi of ESPN.

One of the options the Clippers are exploring, according to sources, is Paul Pierce, who could sign a mini-midlevel exception of $3.37 million for up to three years if he declines his $5.5 million player option with Washington. Players don’t normally turn down money but it’s essentially a $1 million difference this season for Pierce, 37, to return home and be reunited with Rivers, who was his coach in Boston for nine seasons, including the 2007-08 championship.

The Clippers are also exploring trade options for Jamal Crawford, according to sources, and one possibility is trading Crawford and C.J. Wilcox, the team’s 2014 first round pick, to the Denver Nuggets for Wilson Chandler. The Clippers inquired about Chandler last season but nothing materialized.

Denver certainly is trying to shake up its roster and Chandler is a name that has been rumored to be on the move.

But the Pierce rumor has had long legs. He reportedly wanted to come to Los Angeles last summer, but Rivers used his full mid-level exception on Spencer Hawes — who was just shipped out in the Stephenson deal. Will Doc Rivers get a do-over on last summer’s mistake?

Pierce may choose not to leave Washington — he liked the young team, and in the East it is an easier path to the Finals than in the deep West.

But if he bolts, he may head back to his home in L.A., for one more run at a ring with his favorite coach.

Doc Rivers: Lance Stephenson starting for Clippers is worst-case scenario

Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers did the scary thing and traded for Lance Stephenson.

Now, they must figure out how to use him.

Clippers coach/president Doc Rivers on The Beat 980, via Arash Markazi of ESPN:

“I like that [Stephenson] can play multiple positions — really 2, 3 and 1 — because he’s a terrific passer,” Rivers told The Beast 980. “I don’t know if I made the trade for him to be a starter, per se, I look at him really more to be a utility player that can come in and play literally three different positions for us. When you look at us, we needed toughness and more athleticism and we get that.”

But if Stephenson isn’t going to be a starter, who’s going to be the team’s starting small forward for 2015-16?

“We find him, we work, we still have work to do,” Rivers said. “In the worst case and it’s not a bad case [Lance starts], and I still think that Lance is an upgrade at that position even if we wanted to start him. But I’m planning on doing more things this summer without saying much. We’re not done, clearly.”

I like the idea of Stephenson coming off the bench. He’s best with the ball in his hands, but the Clippers are way better running their offense through Chris Paul. Even Blake Griffin, who has developed impressive playmaking skills, is probably a better option due the mismatches created by being a focal point from the frontcourt.

The Clippers’ bench could certainly use more punch. However, Stephenson’s skills are somewhat redundant with Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. That’s probably more of a problem for Crawford and Rivers, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, than for Stephenson.

The bigger concern than managing the bench is finding a starting small forward to replace Matt Barnes, who was dealt to the Hornets – though the issues could be related. The Clippers could try trading Crawford and  a draft pick for a wing, as they did last season. They could also attempt to sign Paul Pierce with the mid-level exception.

Overall, I’m with Rivers. Starting Stephenson wouldn’t be the end of the world. But the Clippers should attempt to form a roster that doesn’t require him to start.

Report: Royce White close to a commitment to play Summer League for Clippers

Royce White

Royce White was the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but has only played part of one season since.

While dealing with a well-documented anxiety disorder, White’s handling of his situation became a problem most teams weren’t willing to deal with.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight and perhaps an additional level of maturity, White is eying an NBA comeback, which may start this summer with the Los Angeles Clippers.

From Shams Charania of Real GM:

Royce White is closing on a commitment to join the Los Angeles Clippers to make his NBA comeback in the July Summer League, league sources told RealGM.

White has considered interest from several organizations, including the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans, but gained trust with the Clippers’ front office through dialogue with brass members.

White is nearing a commitment to the Clippers, but the 6-foot-8 forward will stay away from signing any sort of free-agent deal in order to showcase himself for the NBA’s other 29 teams. He has spent the year training in Minnesota with trainer Chris Carr.

The Clippers make sense, because White is precisely the type of player they’ll need to look at while trying to upgrade the roster.

L.A. is hamstrung from a salary cap perspective, and can only sign players to minimum (-ish) salary deals. But the Clippers desperately need to add depth, which is why a veteran player like Paul Pierce, and a castoff like White may be the best (and perhaps only) legitimate options.

Report: Clippers remain interested in bringing Paul Pierce to Los Angeles


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.

Report: Shawn Marion’s contract demands helped blow up Kevin Garnett trade to Suns in 2007

Phoenix Suns v Sacramento Kings

The developing contract standoff between the Heat and Dwyane Wade has the potential to test a 12-year relationship that has been hugely beneficial to both sides. We’ll have plenty of time to watch that situation unfold between now and the start of free agency on July 1. In the meantime, this Dan Le Batard column in the Miami Herald breaking it down includes this neat what-if scenario about a blockbuster trade that never happened:

Miami’s Big 3 would have never gotten together if Shawn Marion, of all people, had gotten what he wanted. Marion was so stubborn about wanting a max contract back in 2007 that his insistence helped blow up a three-team deal that could have sent Kevin Garnett from Minnesota to Phoenix. That deal would have prevented Garnett from ever teaming up with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to win a championship in Boston. But Marion wouldn’t re-sign with a trading team that wasn’t offering the max, so he was instead sent to Miami for a disgruntled Shaquille O’Neal. Miami offered Marion a four-year contract that would have also kept Miami’s Big 3 from uniting, but not at the max. So Marion asked to be traded … and had to settle in Dallas for a five-year, $39 million deal that was far less than the max.

The idea of Garnett and Steve Nash together in Phoenix is tantalizing to think about. This trade wasn’t the only scenario where that could have happened, either. At the time, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford and Marc Stein reported that there were talks of a four-way trade that would have sent Garnett to the Suns, Marion to the Celtics, Amar’e Stoudemire to the Hawks and the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 draft to the Timberwolves.
If the original trade had gone through, it would have radically altered recent NBA history, replacing Stoudemire with Garnett in the Seven Seconds or Less Suns lineup, preventing the Celtics’ big three from forming (thus swinging the 2008 title somewhere else) and preventing James, Wade and Bosh from teaming up in Miami.