Reports: Paul Pierce wants two-year, $18 million or more contract. Nets still frontrunners.

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If you thought Paul Pierce was ready to take a little less to become a smaller cog on a contender, well… not so much.

Pierce, who will turn 37 before next season, wants a two-year deal that is going to pay him handsomely — at least $9 million a year — according to both Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports and Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

For that kind of money, the Nets are the most logical landing spot.

Pierce played 28 minutes a game and scored 13.5 points a game at an efficient .595 true shooting percentage. He can’t be a team’s primary scoring option anymore but he’s still got this crafty ability to get off his shot and he can hit from three or the midrange. He plays a smart game. As a third option he’s fantastic, so long as you can keep his minutes down.

But at $9 million a year… that’s steep. Buzz had been he’d want more than mid-level, however.

The Clippers were interested but can only offer the mid-level exception to Pierce the free agent. Sign-and-trade talks between the sides have broken down.

When the Carmelo Anthony/LeBron James free agency bottleneck breaks loose, a number of teams could call Pierce with interest including Portland, Memphis, Chicago, Dallas and Houston potentially in the mix.

Whether any of them would pay what he is reportedly asking is another question.

If Pierce bolts Brooklyn it is not likely Kevin Garnett returns for another campaign.