Paul Pierce could reunite with former head coach Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a report from NBA.com’s David Aldridge. While the veteran small forward still has one year left in his deal with the Washington Wizards, Pierce has the option to opt out of his current contract and sign elsewhere.
“Maybe Paul Pierce will walk away from the second year of his deal ($5.5 million) in Washington in order to finish his career in his hometown, playing for his old Celtics coach and his former teammate-turned-Clippers assistant Sam Cassell for less money,” Aldridge wrote in his article.
Pierce, who was born in Oakland, California, attended high school in Inglewood, California, near Los Angeles. He was coached by Rivers from 2004 to 2013 when both were with the Boston Celtics. The 10-time all-star and his coach helped the Celtics to win the 2008 NBA championship. Cassel was also part of the 2008 championship team.
Pierce joined Washington after spending one season with the Brooklyn Nets, the club to which Boston had traded him.
According to Aldridge, many around the league believe Pierce will opt out of his deal rather than stay with Washington, which is developing a small forward in Otto Porter -- who could take over a starting spot if Pierce leaves.
With the help of Pierce, the Wizards reached the second round of the NBA postseason, where they lost to the Atlanta Hawks in six games. Washington swept the Toronto Raptors 4-0 in the first round.
Pierce, who will enter his 17th NBA season next year, averaged career lows of 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for the Wizards. However, his value for the young Washington squad is his veteran leadership and mental toughness, which he showed in the postseason.
The Clippers are definitely interested in such a player: Los Angeles led the Houston Rockets 3-1 in their best-of-seven series before collapsing and losing the next three games.