5. Paul Pierce
It only took one year for Paul Pierce to realize that Brooklyn may not have been the best move for his career. But the 36-year old Hall-of-Fame bound Pierce didn’t want to end his career on that note.
Pierce agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with the Washington Wizards Saturday night, pairing him with star point guard John Wall. The two-year deal includes a player-option after the first year, allowing Pierce to become a free agent after this season if he chooses to.
The Wizards filled their need for the guy who can make the clutch shot at the end of the game after they lost Trevor Ariza this weekend to the Houston Rockets. Pierce trailed just Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard in clutch-time three-pointers last year, nailing 20 in the final five minutes of a game when the score was within five points in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Despite his ability to make the big shot as the second tick away, Pierce’s ability to score overall has declined.
He has not averaged 20-or-more points per game since the 2008-09 season (20.5 ppg) while averaging a career-low 13.5 points-per game last year with the Nets. Since he averaged 19.4 points-per-game in the 2011-12 season (his highest since the 2008-09 campaign), his scoring average steadily declined.
Although Pierce can still play with the best of them, his age has also begun to show. Pierce averaged just 28 minutes-per-game during the regular season last year with a mere 4.3-9.5 field goals made-to-attempted ratio.
But even with declining stats, Pierce adds a championship-caliber veteran presence to the Wizards, something Wall and company have not had around them.
The Wizards are hoping that “The Truth” can set them free on a title run in 2014-15.