Paul Pierce has played 18 seasons in the NBA and built a legendary career that should see him bound for the Hall of Fame when he finally decides to hang up his sneakers. Many, including Tracy McGrady, thought that would happen this offseason due to Pierce’s decline in effectiveness and usage down the stretch run and in the playoffs for the Los Angeles Clippers lasts season, but not so fast:
The Clippers continue to have a wafer-thin bench under the coach/GM tenure of Doc Rivers, so a veteran, even one as diminished as Pierce, would be welcomed back in the fold — and he’s under contract through the 2017-18 season anyway. Pierce is 38, and what kind of workload he can shoulder next year is a big question mark. There’s a chance that if he comes back, it will be closer to a capacity that Kevin Garnett filled in Minnesota last season: light on actual on-court minutes, heavy on locker-room leadership. But with veterans like Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford and JJ Redick on the squad, Pierce’s voice doesn’t carry the way Garnett’s does with the young Wolves.
No matter how much he plays, or how effective he can be, tons of basketball fans would love to see Pierce give it one last shot, if only because losing he and Tim Duncan in the same offseason would sever quite a lot of ties to the last era of the NBA.