The Los Angeles Clippers might be the favorites to land Paul Pierce, but they aren’t the only option. It seems that his former team, the Boston Celtics, have a very good shot of bringing him back if they get the right player in free agency to make it lucrative for Pierce.
The Clippers seemed to be the only place Pierce will go to after he opted out of his second season with the Washington Wizards, which would have paid him $5.5 million. However, it’s not that simple.
Way over the salary cap, the Clippers need to get a trade exception in order to free up the money to sign Pierce. They’re trying to do it by moving bench players. They’ve already traded Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes. That doesn’t leave a whole lot for them to move, as their bench is quite empty at the moment. They also have the re-signing of DeAndre Jordan on their minds.
So where do the Boston Celtics come in? They have the cap space to sign Paul Pierce even after making a max signing. They’re going after Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge, hoping to land one of them. If that happens, suddenly Pierce isn’t coming back as an old man to a young team with no hope of doing anything. Suddenly, especially in the East, the Celtics look like dark horse contenders.
Still, is it enough to convince Pierce? He wants to get paid something over the minimum but playing for a championship is the top priority. The Wizards, in his opinion, weren’t good enough to make it happen. The Clippers always seem that way during the regular season but something doesn’t work once the playoffs begin. Is Pierce the missing piece? It’s not too far fetched to think so.