Los Angeles Clippers: Grading Free Agent Acquisitions

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Paul Pierce

Jul 21, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers players

Cole Aldrich

(45), Paul Pierce (34) and

Wesley Johnson

(33) pose with jerseys at press conference at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: B

It’s very unfortunate this relationship couldn’t have begun a year prior. Maybe things would have ended differently — the Clippers make the Western Conference and/or NBA Finals, DeAndre never threatens to leave the organization, and the franchise enters the off-season on a higher note than in reality.

But ‘The Truth’ is here now and outside of Jordan, is the Clippers’ number one off-season move.

Finally has Doc Rivers obtained a small forward who, offensively, gives the starting lineup another dynamic. Whether Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes, or any other small forward who appeared alongside Paul-Redick-Griffin-Jordan these past seasons, none could create shots on their own outside of seldom lay-up attempts or last-second shot clock jump shots. Now they’ve one of who, while not elite, can do it all, as we saw during his lone stints with the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards, only he has less of a load to carry as the Clippers Big 3 + J.J. Redick are enough to carry the team to being one of the league’s best offenses.

The reason the Pierce acquisition isn’t graded higher is because we’ve seen that Father Time is as unpredictable as any variable in basketball and who knows if Pierce could succumb to its troubles, whether it be a decline in ability — a slower Pierce could make it easier for defenders to contain him, not to mention the ill effects on defense — or injury due to old(er) age.

But on the surface, it remains a good one, especially as this could be his last hurrah as a key NBA player.