JULY 10TH, 6:02pm: The signing is official, the Clippers announced via a press release.
JULY 1ST, 6:16pm: The Clippers are set to sign veteran small forward Paul Pierce to a free agent deal, Dan Woike of The Orange County Register reports (Twitter link). Los Angeles is using the taxpayer’s mini-mid level exception to ink the veteran, and the deal is for three years, and approximately $10MM, including a team option for the third season, TNT’s David Aldridge relays (on Twitter). The Wizards made a push to re-sign Pierce, who reportedly enjoyed his time in Washington D.C., but the lure of playing for former coach Doc Rivers likely proved too strong, though that is merely my speculation. The Celtics, Pierce’s former team, were also reportedly in the mix for his services. Pierce will fill a major void at small forward for Los Angeles.
Pierce takes a paycut from the $5,543,725 he was set to earn in 2015/16 with the Wizards after opting out of his deal. He had been on the fence regarding returning for an 18th season. “I haven’t really thought about it,” Pierce said after the Wizards were eliminated from this season’s NBA playoffs. “I don’t even know if I am going to play basketball anymore. These seasons get harder and harder every year, every day. Summers get even harder when you start getting back in shape. I’m 37 years old. I’m top two or three oldest in the league.” Pierce had indicated that he would take some time and discuss the matter with his family before making his call on next season. “I have been playing this game [for] like 32 years. Since I was a little kid. Probably going to be the hardest thing to do is put the game down. But I know that time is coming one day. I am not sure if it is this year or next year. I will sit down with my family and figure things out,” Pierce said.
The 37-year-old enjoyed a solid campaign with Washington last season, appearing in 73 contests and averaging 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. His career numbers are 20.17 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 3.7 APG, and he owns a shooting line of .447/.371/.806.