Paul Pierce: Why Ray Allen's Departure Isn't a Preview of Next Summer for Pierce
Currently, Pierce has two years left on his contract. His salary is also worth just over a whopping $32 million over those couple of seasons. However, regardless of the significant money Pierce is set to make, the Celtics are undoubtedly keeping him in green and white.
These are the reasons why Pierce won't leave the team next year like Allen did this summer.
Undeniable Talent in Boston
Whether it's the veteran free-agency additions of Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass or the promising young talent these Celtics boast, Pierce will have to make it clear to this organization he is here to stay.
Terry is a top-notch bench scorer that will give the team a major boost off the bench. His 15.1 points per game were the fourth-best of any player coming off the bench last season. The Celtics' second unit struggled mightily in the postseason and Terry will provide an immediate fix to this.
Meanwhile, both Garnett and Bass finished the season playing their best basketball of the year. Garnett was the team's leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker during the postseason. He averaged a respectable 19.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in the 20 postseason contests.
Add in the fact that the summer league team is blowing away the competition behind E'Twaun Moore and Jared Sullinger's production, and Pierce would be more than inclined to stay in Boston. There is no doubt that Pierce is thinking this team has what it takes to win another title in the next few seasons.
It is clear this team is still poised to win an NBA championship and may well be in better position than they have been since the Big Three-era began. Expect Pierce and the organization to take this into account when deciding what to do with the last year of his contract.
An Expiring Contract
Of course, when considering Pierce's motives one most also consider those of the organization.
However, in this case, team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is set to surely be inclined to keep this Hall of Fame talent around.
The final year of Pierce's contract is worth just over $15.3 million. In turn, allowing Pierce to finish out the contract with the team would give the Celtics a great amount of cap room to work with after the 2013-14 season.
Whether the Celtics will decide to re-sign Pierce at that point is still up in the air, but regardless, Ainge will see that the cap room is more integral than using Pierce as trade bait.
The Truth's Loyalty to Boston
Pierce has started in 1,022 of his 1,025 games in the league, played all 14 seasons with the Celtics, led Boston to an NBA championship as Finals MVP and goes down as arguably the best scorer in team history at 22 points per game for his career average.
Talk about a mouthful.
What's more? The list of accomplishments only goes on for Pierce.
Pierce is a player that has constantly given his all to this franchise, but he is also one that has done the same for the city of Boston as well. In 2002, Pierce started The Truth Fund, a program that helps under-privileged youth and assists young people in living healthier lives. This is just one example of what Pierce has brought to the Boston community.
Pierce's statistics will go down in the records books, his 2008 NBA championship banner will hang high in TD Garden and his community outreach is and will forever be cherished by the city. It isn't often in today's game to have a star player of Pierce's caliber electing to play his entire career with one team.
As important as Boston is for Pierce, it is also just as integral for these Celtics to have Pierce retire with them. Boasting a talent of Pierce's stature and being able to say he played each season with the team is too precious a feat to take for granted.
Considering this team's championship hopes, Pierce's contract situation and the loyalty he has shown to Boston, Pierce will not be leaving the team after next season.
Follow Featured Columnist Luis Batlle on Twitter for the most current NBA and Boston Celtics opinion and analysis: @lbatll1
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