Things are moving quickly, and with the departure of Doc Rivers, the Boston Celtics are in somewhat of a turbulent state, leaving a lot of questions about the future of Paul Pierce, as the Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping to make the most of the situation and acquire him via trade.
Paul Pierce averaged 18.6 points per game on his 15th NBA season, and despite turning 36 in four months, teams aren’t afraid of his age or his salary for next season, which will be $15.3 million if the Celtics don’t release Pierce in the next seven days.
The Cavs, after spending two lottery picks on Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, aren’t in the mood to wait any longer and keep building through the draft. They want a player that can put them in the top 8 right now, as they fear failing to reach the postseason once again might result in Kyrie Irving beginning to seek a way out of Cleveland, which will mean losing the number one draft pick for the second time in a relatively short time span.
The Cavs have the number one draft pick, and it seems they’re considering between Nerlens Noel and Alex Len, probably hoping to get someone who can contribute right away, with Noel not fitting the part. Pierce? He might take up a lot of cap space (which the Cavs can afford), while the Celtics won’t be asking, probably, for too much, after already acquiring one first round draft pick in 2015 from the Clippers.
How much? The Cavs are offering their two second-round draft picks to take Pierce off the hands of the Celtics, who are likely to simply be happy getting rid of $15 million off their salary cap, and will officially go into rebuilding mode, if they haven’t entered that phase already. Kevin Garnett’s future is up in the air, and the only remaining relic from their championship season in 2008 might turn out to be Rajon Rondo, who isn’t getting a lot of love from the press recently for his part in Rivers wanting to leave.
For the Cavaliers, the arrival of Pierce might mean a potential starting five of Irving, Waiters, Pierce (at SF), Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao (if he’s healthy) or Tyler Zeller. The Cavs believe that without injuries to both Irving and Varejao, they might have already made the postseason last year, and aren’t willing to wait another season waiting for their young players to develop.
In the meantime, there’s also the issue of a trade with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are on a two-year plan to return to the NBA finals, and part of that is shedding the extra weight, or in other words, getting rid of Shawn Marion’s contract ($9.3 million in 2013), offering their 13th overall draft pick to go along with it. The Cavs can take both Marion and Pierce on, although they would like to improve their cap situation by seeing Mareese Speights forego his player option (worth $4.5 million) for next season.