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Report: Pierce to opt out of Celtics contract

Jun 29, 2010, 11:31 PM EDT

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ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that Celtics forward Paul Pierce will opt out of the final year of his contract with the team, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. The last year of his contract was worth 21.5 million dollars. Pierce has been a Celtic since Boston drafted him in 1998. 
While this news could be the first step towards the dismantling of the Celtics, the more likely story is that Pierce’s decision was motivated by the current and future NBA economic climate. This summer will be one of the biggest free agency summers ever. Next summer might be a different story entirely. 
The current collective bargaining agreement expires after this season, and many experts believe there will be a lockout or labor dispute of some kind. If a labor stoppage does occur, top free agents may have to wait to get a contract. 
There is also the distinct possibility that the next CBA could be much less player-friendly than the current one. Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O’Neal both had their gigantic pre-CBA contracts grandfathered in when the last CBA was signed; the same thing will likely happen for all the free agents that sign a max or near-max deal this off-season. Because of that and the possibility of a lockout, there is major incentive for players to get a deal done this summer instead of the summer of 2011, especially since so many teams have cap space now.
Some of the teams with cap space to burn will likely make a play for Pierce this summer. Pierce’s hometown Clippers, who have a hole at small forward, will almost certainly have some interest in Pierce if they can’t pull off a miracle and sign LeBron James. It’s possible that Pierce will end up with the Clippers, but the more likely scenario is that Pierce will use the Clippers’ perceived interest as leverage and pressure the Celtics into giving him a multi-year deal. 
Assuming Stein’s report is accurate, both Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are now unrestricted free agents. The Celtics hold both Allen and Pierce’s “Bird rights,” meaning that they can pay both Allen and Pierce regardless of Boston’s salary cap number. Because of Boston’s encouraging playoff run and those “Bird rights,” Boston will likely be able to keep the “Big Three” together if they really want to. 
However, keeping both Pierce and Allen will cost a lot of money, and both players showed their age at times last season. The time for Danny Ainge and Co. to make some tough choices about the future of the Celtics is now. In the coming weeks, we’ll see just how much Ainge is willing to pay for the chance to give Rajon Rondo and the “Big Three” one or two more chances at raising banner #18. 
  1. wes unseld - Jun 30, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    4 points, about your IQ i would guess, Jordan was over rated just like you sad Celtics, clown traveled everytime he touched the ball. the nba needed a hero so they let him push and shove at will.you are a clown as well…..maybe you and paula can get a act and go on the road.

  2. Danny - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    umm yahh tht was the least funny joke ive ever heard…anyway pierce averaged the most ppg on a team tht went 7 games in the NBA Finals and should hav won if it wasnt for the refs n their “Kobe” rules n the fact tht Kendrick Perkins wasnt availible, Pierce is still a top 10 Player n the Celtics need to make a move to resign him, if they don’t they’re saying goodbye to the 2nd greatest Celtic of all time

  3. Qman - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    No Kobe wasn’t found guilty of rape because like the coward and loser he is, he paid off his wife and accuser so the truth wouldn’t come out. LA fans ought to be ashamed this guy is on there team no matter how good he is. Lets just hope he doesn’t rape again

  4. agnostica - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Again, your 4th-grade spelling and grammar, along with mentality, are absolutely astounding. And have you ever watched ANY basketball player in the NBA? Every one of them travels and the refs don’t call a thing. Try a different argument.

  5. Danny - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Lmao ya and then you wake up hahaha…17 championships BABBBYY!!! most in NBA history n not one rapist has ever played for us

  6. WOWIMSHOCKED - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    AGNOSTICA, FIRST OFF LET ME JUST SAY I DOTN AGREE WITH THE THINGS CHARLIE SAID BUT I ALSO DONT AGREE WITH WHAT YOUR SAYING THERE IS NO REASON TO CUSS, JORDAN IS NOW AND FOREVER WILL BE THE ANNOINTED GOB (GOD OF BASKETBALL) HE CARRIED HISSELF WITH A CERTAIN GRACE AND CHARACTER THAT WAS UNUSUAL FOR MOST OF THE EGO MANIAC BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF HIS ERA, BUT AS A LONG TIME BASKETBALL FAN YES IM NO SPRING CHICKEN LET ME POINT OUT THAT JORDAN WAS AS DRIVEN AND MEAN AS ANY OF THE BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF HIS TIME YOU HAD TO BE TO BE TEH BEST AND ASK ANY OF THE PLAYERS THAT PLAYED AGAINST HIM HE WAS AS VISCIOUS AS KOBE OR PIERCE OR SHEED, BUT HE HAD THE SMARTS AND PERSONALITY TO LEAVE THAT ON THE COURT AND BE MEDIA FREINDLY. NOW AS FOR KOBE LET ME SAY SOMETHING AS A PERSON IN THE LEGAL FIELD (POLICE OFFICER) I ALWAYS SEE PEOPLE BRING UP THE KOBE/RAPIST DIALOGUE, LEGALLY SPEAKING THE CASE WAS NOT ONLY DROPPED IT WAS THROWN OUT, THE ACCUSER WAS LEGALLY SPEAKING A JOKE, IF A PERSON IS RAPED THEY DONT GO TO A PARTY THAT NIGHT AND BRAG ABOUT SLEEPING WITH KOBE, THEN HAVE SEX WITH OTHER GUYS THEN GO TO THE HOSPITAL TO REPORT A RAPE, PLEASE CHECK THE LEGAL TRANSCRIPTS ITS ALL THERE. FACTUALLY SPEAKING DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CELEBRITIES ARE ACCUSED OF RAPE YET WERE INVOLVED WITH A MUTUALLY CONSENTED ACT THE NUMBER IS TOO HIGH TO NAME, IF ANYONE IS TO POINT TO A CHARACTER FLAW OF KOBE ITS THAT HE WAS AN ADULTERER NOT A RAPIST AND ADULTERY IS “NOT” AGAINST THE LAW. TO ALL BASKETBALL FANS WE JUST EXPEREINCED ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATEST FINALS SERIES, BOTH TEAMS HAD INJURIES BOTH TEAMS HAD OLDER PLAYERS AND BOTH TEAMS BROUGHT ALL THEY HAD TO THE TABLE SO LETS APPLAUD THEM AS MEN AND AS ATHLETES AND STOP ACTING LIKE OVERGROWN CHILDREN, NONE OF US PLAY ON EITHER OF THOSE TEAMS IF THEY ARE CLASSY ENOUGH TO SAY HEY THE OTHER TEAM WON AND CONGRATULATE THEM SO SHOULD WE

  7. WOWIMSHOCKED - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    AGNOSTICA, FIRST OFF LET ME JUST SAY I DOTN AGREE WITH THE THINGS CHARLIE SAID BUT I ALSO DONT AGREE WITH WHAT YOUR SAYING THERE IS NO REASON TO CUSS, JORDAN IS NOW AND FOREVER WILL BE THE ANNOINTED GOB (GOD OF BASKETBALL) HE CARRIED HISSELF WITH A CERTAIN GRACE AND CHARACTER THAT WAS UNUSUAL FOR MOST OF THE EGO MANIAC BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF HIS ERA, BUT AS A LONG TIME BASKETBALL FAN YES IM NO SPRING CHICKEN LET ME POINT OUT THAT JORDAN WAS AS DRIVEN AND MEAN AS ANY OF THE BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF HIS TIME YOU HAD TO BE TO BE TEH BEST AND ASK ANY OF THE PLAYERS THAT PLAYED AGAINST HIM HE WAS AS VISCIOUS AS KOBE OR PIERCE OR SHEED, BUT HE HAD THE SMARTS AND PERSONALITY TO LEAVE THAT ON THE COURT AND BE MEDIA FREINDLY. NOW AS FOR KOBE LET ME SAY SOMETHING AS A PERSON IN THE LEGAL FIELD (POLICE OFFICER) I ALWAYS SEE PEOPLE BRING UP THE KOBE/RAPIST DIALOGUE, LEGALLY SPEAKING THE CASE WAS NOT ONLY DROPPED IT WAS THROWN OUT, THE ACCUSER WAS LEGALLY SPEAKING A JOKE, IF A PERSON IS RAPED THEY DONT GO TO A PARTY THAT NIGHT AND BRAG ABOUT SLEEPING WITH KOBE, THEN HAVE SEX WITH OTHER GUYS THEN GO TO THE HOSPITAL TO REPORT A RAPE, PLEASE CHECK THE LEGAL TRANSCRIPTS ITS ALL THERE. FACTUALLY SPEAKING DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CELEBRITIES ARE ACCUSED OF RAPE YET WERE INVOLVED WITH A MUTUALLY CONSENTED ACT THE NUMBER IS TOO HIGH TO NAME, IF ANYONE IS TO POINT TO A CHARACTER FLAW OF KOBE ITS THAT HE WAS AN ADULTERER NOT A RAPIST AND ADULTERY IS “NOT” AGAINST THE LAW. TO ALL BASKETBALL FANS WE JUST EXPEREINCED ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATEST FINALS SERIES, BOTH TEAMS HAD INJURIES BOTH TEAMS HAD OLDER PLAYERS AND BOTH TEAMS BROUGHT ALL THEY HAD TO THE TABLE SO LETS APPLAUD THEM AS MEN AND AS ATHLETES AND STOP ACTING LIKE OVERGROWN CHILDREN, NONE OF US PLAY ON EITHER OF THOSE TEAMS IF THEY ARE CLASSY ENOUGH TO SAY HEY THE OTHER TEAM WON AND CONGRATULATE THEM SO SHOULD WE

  8. SorryCharlie - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Agnostica, very well said. Laker fan should not be allowed to write comments anywhere. Every time you read anything the obnoxious bastards write you would think they were playing for the team.
    Charlie, get a life so the Lakers are not the most important part of it. What do you do the rest of the year, more offerings to your Kobe shrine? Your god Kobe is getting old and all the extra stress he has had in his outside life take a toll. As he gets older his ability to carry the team will diminish not to mention his will to do it.
    As for Pierce, if he is throwing away a little over 21 million for next season because he wants a longer contract, I hope the gamble backfires. I don’t know about you guys but in an economy like we have now, why would we care about this at all? 21 million for one year sets us up for life and if the money is handled properly your kids and your kids kids are set for life too. This is 21 mil on top of what he has already pulled in.
    It makes for fascinating reading but my passion is all but gone for this or any of the big three pro sports. How many players that have come into the league getting paid obscene amounts of money to either get hurt or become a huge flop but still get paid. In the mean time we are supposed to pay outrageous ticket prices, vendor prices and parking for the honor of sitting and watching them play a game for a couple hours.

  9. agnostica - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Awesome. Someone I can finally agree with completely on here. You are a sage and a scholar, sir (or madam).

  10. wes unseld - Jun 30, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    ASS, you’d be surprised how much money I make with my 4th grade education, i promise alot more then your welfare ass is pulling down. wish you were here in front of me, i’d love to show you how much…candy ass

  11. wes unseld - Jun 30, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    ASS, you’d be surprised how much money I make with my 4th grade education, i promise alot more then your welfare ass is pulling down. wish you were here in front of me, i’d love to show you how much…candy ass

  12. agnostica - Jun 30, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Oh, I’m sorry that you feel the need to respond to anything I say with such hostile verbage. And I’d be surprised, would I? Go ahead and say all you want. For all we know you could be pulling down $9/hr at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s. Lovely how the Internet works that way. You can say whatever you want behind a facade without any sort of burden of proof. You can continue to have “alot more then [my] welfare ass” (again, wonderful grammar) and I’ll continue being Bill Gates, how’s that? Man, I like this game.

  13. wes unseld - Jun 30, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    funny, i got on this site just for the purpose of finding just one idiot to mess with, you took the bait…you are pretty simple minded, but i’m bored now…i have better things to do, you made me laugh….later loser!!!

  14. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    hi viz, first off no one handed the game to the lakers you insult both the lakers and the celtics, they deserve more than that, celtics palyed hard for 3 quarters and ran out of gas but they had so many chances of beating the lakers and they didnt, the lakers played one of thier worst offensive games but one of thier best defensive games and won if by 4 points or 20 points it doesnt matter lakers wanted it more, this had nothing to do with age or injury both teams had injury’s and age, so that reason is a wash. look bottom line both teams deserved to be in the finals and if this series was a swan song for celtics well it was still an impressive way to go out even if they did not win. one last thing jordan was awesome but even jordan had a couple of bad games in his 6 finals appearances, he was great but he was still human

  15. BenRoethRaper - Jun 30, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Now you sound like your whining, and bitching, and moaning. Make up your mind. Got any more cheap shots. If your white, case closed, story dropped, do it twice a year, charges not even filed, don’t believe the witness. Keep Celts as they are.

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