Report: Paul Pierce ‘is set on playing’ next season

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After the Wizards suffered what was a crushing Game 6 loss to the Hawks, one that eliminated them from the second round of the playoffs, Paul Pierce said he was unsure if he’d play basketball in the future.

The emotional toll of it all was becoming too much for Pierce, who had just completed his 17th NBA season. And even though he has a player option on a deal to stay in Washington for one more year, retirement was clearly something that was looking like a very real possibility.

But now that Pierce has had time to reflect, it appears as though he’s ready to return next season.

From Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post:

Paul Pierce has until the end of June to decide whether he will exercise his $5.5 million player option and return for a second season with the Washington Wizards.

Pierce candidly revealed he wasn’t sure about his basketball future minutes after he heaved a last-gasp three-pointer to extend the Wizards’ season a tick of a second too late. He indicated retiring was a possibility, but a month later Pierce is set on playing next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The question becomes, where?

Pierce has been a great fit in Washington, a veteran voice alongside budding stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal who can still produce in the game’s biggest moments. But evidently, returning home to play in Los Angeles and reuniting with Doc Rivers to make a run with the Clippers is something Pierce is considering.

Pierce would likely need to take less money to sign in L.A., unless a two-year deal that was fully guaranteed exceeded his potential Wizards salary for next season. But even though they play in the more challenging Western Conference, it’s easy to argue that the Clippers have championship potential with the core of their roster, and adding someone like Pierce to the mix could be the piece that pushes them over the edge.