Paul Pierce: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Clippers F's Future

Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce smiles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Miami. The Clippers defeated the Heat 100-93. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce dropped a major hint that the 2015-16 season could be his last as a player in the NBA.  

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Pierce Likely to Wait Until Offseason to Make Final Decision

Wednesday, Feb. 10

"This could be [my last game in TD Garden]," Pierce said ahead of Wednesday night's game against the Boston Celtics, per Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. "I'm not 100 percent sure. But this very well could be."

Pierce still has two more years beyond the 2015-16 season left in his current deal with the Clippers. While that gives him an incentive to continue playing for at least another year, his performance could make him think otherwise.

The 38-year-old is playing 17.6 minutes a night and averaging 5.7 points and 2.8 rebounds. Unlike last year with the Washington Wizards, Pierce hasn't been an efficient scorer, shooting just 34.3 percent from the field, including 31 percent from beyond the arc. The former is a career low, while the latter is the third-lowest in his 18 years in the league.

Whatever Pierce does, he's unlikely to make any announcement during the season.

"I haven't really thought about that, because this could be it," he said in December when asked about the potential of having a yearlong farewell tour similar to Kobe Bryant's, per Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. "This is a year-by-year evaluation. I'll go into the summer. I'll do a summer tour around the local parks [in Inglewood, California]."

Pierce isn't getting any younger, and given how much his skills have steadily diminished over the last few years, it wouldn't be a surprise if he opted to walk away when the Clippers' season ends.

Whenever Pierce does call it a career, he may not leave basketball altogether, saying Wednesday he'd enjoy working for the Celtics in an official capacity once he retires, per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. Whether it's with the Celtics or another team, Pierce would likely have little trouble finding an assistant coaching or front-office role in the NBA down the line.