Paul Pierce was linked to the Los Angeles Clippers last summer before ultimately signing with the Washington Wizards. The Clippers ended up offering the mid-level exception that would have gone to Pierce to Spencer Hawes, who never established a consistent role on the team this season.
Pierce and the Clippers are both in the offseason after losing in the conference semifinals. After losing Game 6 to the Atlanta Hawks, Pierce sounded exhausted and on the brink of hanging it up. David Aldridge’s latest column on NBA.com suggests that Pierce and the Clippers could open up as a possibility again:
Washington’s main issue is complacency. The Wizards could stand pat if Pierce decides to return to D.C. next season rather than opt out of his deal, but many around the league believe Pierce will do just that and finish his career back home in Los Angeles with the Clippers.
Being an LA native and winning a championship with Doc Rivers in Boston have made the Clippers a popular option for Pierce. The Wizards made fine use of what Pierce brings as an experienced shot maker and leader, but their needs at small forward will likely be filled by Otto Porter, Jr. after the way he developed this postseason.
If Pierce has the energy and mindset to help another team try and make a run, the Clippers could certainly make use of his services at small forward. Pierce wouldn’t single-handedly rectify their flaws, but his presence and confidence would be invaluable to that locker room. After the way the Clippers lost in the playoffs, adding a veteran like Pierce for the right price might even be a priority.