If he wants to, Paul Pierce can become a free agent this summer.
He has a player option on his contract. Opt in and he makes $5.5 million to stay in Washington, opt out and he can test the market for a forward who turns 38 next season but is still productive (11.9 points per game this season) and provides a level of leadership many contending teams covet.
He will not say what he plans to do this summer while the Wizards are still alive in the playoffs (something that could end sooner rather than later after the news about John Wall’s hand). But speaking to CSNWashington.com, he sounds like a guy who wants to stay in the nation’s capital one way or another.
“It’s been nothing but love from the time I got off the airplane in the summer,” Pierce told Comcast SportsNet’s Chris Miller about his time with the Wizards….
“I feel like even if it’s one year, two years, or three years I’m here, I feel like I’m going to have a relationship with these guys for a long, long time even after basketball,” Pierce said. “It seems like we connect, and I connected with the city.”
Nothing is ever for sure. With his age and accomplishments, what Pierce is playing for now is rings and he may survey the land and decide he is closer to that goal somewhere else right now. There isn’t a contender that wouldn’t welcome him in some role.
But he sure sounds like a guy who plans to stay put.