2:33pm: Deng reciprocates the Clippers’ interest in a sign-and-trade deal, and he’s expected to speak with Rivers today, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
1:12pm: There have been no such talks outside of the Nets expressing their lack of interest, according to Alex Raskin of The Wall Street Journal (Twitter link).
8:12am: The Clippers and Nets have spoken about a sign-and-trade that would involve Paul Pierce heading to Los Angeles, report Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. The Clippers have offered a combination of Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and Reggie Bullock as they seek to relieve a glut of small forwards, but Brooklyn is so far unreceptive to any such package, according to Shelburne and Youngmisuk.
Pierce and Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers have talked about a deal, the ESPN scribes say, and while the Clippers could use the $5.305MM mid-level exception to sign him outright, a sign-and-trade would allow Pierce to reap a higher salary, since the Nets have his Bird Rights. Brooklyn could use those Bird Rights as leverage to keep Pierce in black-and-white, but because the team is well above the salary cap, it wouldn’t have means to replace the Jeff Schwartz client if he simply decided to sign with the Clippers for their mid-level. Pierce’s interest in the Clippers has been known for a while, and the connection between Pierce and Rivers, who spent several years together with the Celtics, is strong.
The 36-year-old Pierce is nonetheless a fallback for the Clippers in case the team can’t convince either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony to come west, Shelburne and Youngmisuk write. Rivers and company have also met with Trevor Ariza, according to the report, and they’re also interested in sign-and-trades involving Ariza, Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Pierce has a litany of other options as well, as the Blazers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Mavs and Rockets are other teams that have reportedly reached out to him.