The Washington Wizards entered the offseason with two goals – to re-sign center Marcin Gortat and swignman Trevor Ariza. They were able to ink Gortat to a five-year deal but lost Ariza to the Houston Rockets. However, they responded by signing former Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets swingman Paul Pierce to replace him.
Even though Pierce isn’t the star he once was, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders believes he is a valuable piece for the Wizards because of his ability to hit big shots and the leadership he will provide for the Wizards’ young roster.
The Washington Wizards came close to making an Eastern Conference Finals appearance last season but were ultimately failed by their lack of experience on the big stage. This summer the team signed future Hall of Fame forward Paul Pierce in free agency to a two-year deal hoping the veteran’s presence would help the young pups grow into their newfound success.
Pierce is no longer the player he used to be but he doesn’t shy away from big moments, can still knock down big shots and should benefit the young guys in the locker room.
Pierce has been through the wars, but with over 48,000 career minutes logged on the odometer you can question whether he can still handle the workload.
Pierce, 36, put up 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 45.1% from the field, 37.3% from the three and 82.6% from the free throw line last season. In his 16-year NBA career, the 10th-overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft, has put up 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 44.7% from the field, 37.0% from beyond the arc and 80.7% from the charity stripe.
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