Could Paul Pierce be headed for a reunion with Doc Rivers after a one-year hiatus in Brooklyn?
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Los Angeles Clippers are now of the belief that they have a shot at signing Pierce following Jason Kidd's departure:
Clippers, I'm told, believe they have real chance of stealing Paul Pierce away from Nets now that Jason Kidd no longer coaching in Brooklyn— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2014
If KG decides to play on, those who know him well say Pierce’s incentive to stay in Brooklyn naturally spikes. If Garnett decides it’s time to stop, Pierce is bound to be intrigued even more by the scenario that is said to be on his radar already: Reuniting with Doc Rivers in Clipperland in what would also be a homecoming for the Los Angeles native.
Following a rather underwhelming inaugural season with the Brooklyn Nets that saw Pierce average a career-worst 13.5 points on 45.1 percent shooting from the field, a change of scenery would make sense for the unrestricted free agent.
And given the organizational uncertainty that's enveloped the Nets following Kidd's transition to the Milwaukee Bucks, finding comfort in Rivers' system out in his native Los Angeles would seem to be a natural move for a veteran searching to maximize his remaining years in the Association.
Would Paul Pierce be a good fit with the Clippers?
Bleacher Report's Dan Favale relayed a similar sentiment after the Nets were ousted from the playoffs: "Going on 37, Pierce, as he showed at times against the Heat, can still play. He won't want to waste what he has left playing for lottery-bound squads or fringe-playoff clubs."
It's also worth noting that the Clippers aren't alone in their pursuit of Pierce.
According to Stein, several other noteworthy contenders are putting out feelers as the 36-year-old hits the open market:
Blazers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Mavericks, Rockets ... teams I'm told called tonight to register interest in Brooklyn's Paul Pierce BESIDES Clips— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2014
"I still think I have something to give a team," Pierce said following the Nets' dismissal from the postseason, according to the New York Post's Tim Bontemps. In addition, Pierce told reporters that he has a year or two left, "at most," per Bontemps.
If we're to take Pierce at his word, a move to the Clippers would be the most logical one out there.
Not only does Pierce have an intimate familiarity with Rivers' scheme from their days in Boston, but L.A. is looking for immediate help on the wing, according to ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi:
Clippers have been shopping Matt Barnes and Jared Dudley around. Again, upgrading small forward position is a priority for Rivers.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 1, 2014
With a starting role feasibly up for grabs, it would behoove Pierce to try to cap his career with a Larry O'Brien trophy or two, even if it comes at a reduced price.