That the Los Angeles Clippers have interest in Paul Pierce is old news. Now, their desire to land the future Hall-of-Famer has become a bit more serious. According to ESPN, the Clippers have had discussions with the Brooklyn Nets on a sign-and-trade that would bring Pierce to LA.
The Los Angeles Clippers have engaged in conversations with the Brooklyn Nets to try to construct a sign-and-trade that would reunite small forward Paul Pierce with Doc Rivers, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Rivers, the Clippers’ president and coach, has had several conversations with Pierce since he became a free agent July 1…
Because Brooklyn holds his Bird rights, a sign-and-trade also would allow Pierce — who made $15.3 million last season — to sign for more than the midlevel exception.
The Clippers likely would include some combination of Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and last year’s first-round pick, Reggie Bullock, according to sources.
Sources say that the Clippers’ pieces aren’t enough at the moment for the Nets, should Brooklyn opt to go the sign-and-trade route. While nothing is imminent, it’s possible a potential trade could expand to more teams as discussions progress.
The Clippers have some flexibility here. If Pierce is intent on reuniting with Rivers and playing near his hometown of Inglewood, it stands to reason that he’d ultimately accept the team’s offer of the midlevel exception. He’s worth more than that on the open market to teams with cap space, but the organizations Pierce seems most likely to sign with – the Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trailblazers, or Chicago Bulls, according to Marc Stein – either don’t currently have the room to offer more than Los Angeles or are holding out until Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make free agency decisions.
Shelburne and Ohmusik report that the Clippers are intent on getting in the bidding for Anthony and James, too. Los Angeles has previously said that Blake Griffin is untouchable and either superstar would surely only consider the Clippers if Chris Paul was still aboard, leading to speculation that a sign-and-trade centered around DeAndre Jordan would be the means behind acquiring either superstar.
While the Clippers have interest in Pierce, sources said they continue to try to get involved with superstars Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James and are reluctant to make major moves while there is still a chance at landing the two free agents.
Los Angeles is firmly on the fringes of contention for Anthony and James. Many teams have a less circuitous path to landing one of them, and Carmelo – still far more likely to leave New York than LeBron is Miami despite recent reports concerning the the latter – has already visited the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers. At this point, it would be a minor shock if either player teamed with Paul and Griffin next season.
Pierce is a far more likely option for the Clippers whether acquired via free agency or trade. If he informs Brooklyn of his plans to play in Los Angeles, conventional wisdom says the Nets would eventually fold and acquiesce to Los Angeles’ trade offer. Better to lose a player and get something in return than simply let him walk, after all.
But like the current state of free agency league-wide, things with Pierce and Los Angeles likely won’t progress until Anthony and James make their respective decisions. Once they do, don’t be surprised if the Clippers act quickly to bring Pierce to Los Angeles.
Is Pierce a good fit for the Clippers?
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