While Paul Pierce’s NBA career is inching closer to the end, the 36-year-old is still a coveted free agent for many teams, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Pierce has already drawn interest from several contenders, including the Los Angeles Clippers,Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
The Brooklyn Nets are also obviously a likely destination for Pierce. Additionally, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York notes the Nets might have the upper hand on Pierce’s other suitors.
The Nets’ biggest advantage over the competition when it comes to trying to retain Pierce is that they hold his Bird rights, enabling them to pay him more money than any other team.
But Brooklyn, sources said, would like to keep Pierce on a short-term contract worth between $6 million and $8 million a year.
Pierce is coming off a solid season with Brooklyn, as he averaged 13.5 points (45.1 percent shooting from the floor and 37.3 percent shooting from three), 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Still, it would be great to see Pierce to head to one of the contenders that Stein mentions. At this stage of his career, Pierce is probably better suited for a smaller role than the 28 minute-per-night responsibilities he had with the Nets this past season.
Teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers or Houston Rockets wouldn’t have to rely on Pierce’s production to the extent that Brooklyn had to a year ago.
The 2014-15 season will be Pierce’s 17th year in the NBA.