NBA Rumor: Paul Pierce to choose between Clippers, Wizards


Apr 8, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce (34) in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards won 119-90. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce has officially decided to play next season, and now he’s expected to opt-out of his $5.5 million player option, he’s reportedly going to choose between the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. And whilst both teams have their own strengths, the Clippers certainly have a better shot at making a serious run at a championship next season to tempt Pierce to join them.

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According to a report by Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post, Paul Pierce should be making the decision to opt-out of his current deal with the Wizards by the end of the month. And after suffering another tough loss in the second round of the playoffs to the Atlanta Hawks this season — despite his clutch shots and buzzer beater to win game three — it’s not surprising Pierce has decided to become a free agent. Because for a player as competitive as Paul Pierce, who’s entering what will most likely be his final season, he’s going to be far more focussed on winning a title than just collecting another cheque.

In a separate report for The Washington Post, Jorge Castillo has also said that Pierce will probably only be choosing between the Wizards and Clippers, now that he can enter free agency:

"The 10-time all-star will likely decide between two teams for his 18th campaign: the Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. Pierce emphasized he loved his year with the Wizards, guiding the Wizards’ young core and getting another crack at the postseason in a more diminished role. And just because he opts out his contract doesn’t mean he won’t stay in the District; Pierce, who turns 38 in October, could sign a one-year deal for more than $5.5 million to stick around, which would also help the Wizards keep the flexibility they desire for the much anticipated summer of 2016."

There are multiple factors that will play a part for both sides in Paul Pierce’s decision this summer. He’s already expressed his belief in the young stars of Washington such as John Wall and Bradley Beal in an interview with SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio. They swept the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs this year and even held a 2-1 series lead against the Hawks before losing three straight. So it’s not as though they didn’t pose a threat in the Eastern Conference.

However, the Wizards are going to need to make changes to overcome the strength of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls (when healthy) if they want a realistic chance of making the Finals.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is Paul Pierce’s hometown, and the Clippers feature his former championship winning coach from his Boston Celtics’ days, as well as three All-NBA level talents with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. And even though they’re in the far tougher Western Conference, if they are able to make strong acquisitions following the trade for Lance Stephenson (such as Pierce) the Clippers have a far stronger side to make a deep playoff run than the Wizards.

We’ll have to wait and see where The Truth will go, but his ability in late game situations and veteran leadership would be extremely valuable attributes to the Clippers. Furthermore, the fact that Paul Pierce is expected to opt-out of his current contract can only be a promising sign for L.A.’s case to sign him.

Next: Doc Rivers is still aiming to enter the 2015 NBA Draft