The Boston Celtics want to trade veteran Paul Pierce. Head coach Doc Rivers has already been shipped off to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the rebuilding effort is just beginning as the team is shopping Pierce in exchange for a first-round pick.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reported the news first saying Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ director of basketball operations, is looking to move Pierce sooner rather than later:
Team sources confirmed Ainge also has been trying to secure a first-round pick for veteran Paul Pierce, who can be bought out by June 30 for $5 million. The Celtics have been unsuccessful thus far, leaving open the possibility they keep Pierce and his $15.3 million contract and attempt to deal him again at the trade deadline next winter, when teams historically look for veteran help and are willing to overpay.
Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski says the team is doubtful to want to purchase the rest of Pierce’s contract by June 30, meaning it would cost the team $5 million. Wojnarowski reports plenty of contending teams view Pierce as a nice addition:
The Celtics have to make a decision before June 30 if they want to buy out the remaining $15 million on Paul Pierce’s contract for $5 million, but Boston is finding that scenario less and less likely, sources told Yahoo! Sports. There’s been enough trade interest from contending teams who still see the 35-year-old Pierce as a plausible third offensive option, sources said.
So there you have it. Multiple sources confirm the Celtics want to get rid of Paul Pierce and the front office is expecting a lot in return. It’s unknown whether a contender will actually give up such a valued pick for Pierce at this point in his career, but crazier things have happened.
Follow me on Twitter for more NFL, NBA and MLB news and analysis @Chris_Roling