Veteran forward Paul Pierce will opt out of his $5.54 million contract, but he’s “definitely” playing next season, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post says Pierce will likely decide between the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers.
Pierce had been unsure about his return after the Wizards were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs. However, it was clear the 37-year-old still had something left in the tank, and now it appears he’ll be back.
Pierce enjoyed a solid season in Washington, averaging 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 44.7 percent overall and 38.9 percent from three. He really shined in the postseason, hitting numerous big shots during the Wizards’ run. The veteran averaged 14.6 points while shooting 48.5 percent overall and 52.4 percent from three in the playoffs.
Washington can offer Pierce more money this offseason, as the Clippers will only be able to offer him the mini mid-level exception of about $3.38 million. However, the money might not be a big deal at this point in his career, and the allure of playing in California (where he grew up) for his former coach in Doc Rivers might be too great. Not to mention the fact the Clippers are a better team.
If Los Angeles is able to get Pierce at that price, it would be an absolute steal.