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Celtics ‘likely’ to buy out Paul Pierce? Reports conflict

May 28, 2013, 8:36 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics - Game Six Getty Images

The Celtics are at a crossroads. Again.

For the first time since grouping Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, Boston didn’t win a playoff series. So, as has become annual tradition, the Celtics are considering tearing down their team and rebuilding.

Perhaps, it’s finally time.

Allen is already in Miami. Garnett might retire. Rajon Rondo won’t necessarily be ready for the start of the season, and Jeff Green gives Boston another young piece to build around in addition to Rondo.

And then there’s Paul Pierce, who’s under contract for $15,333,334 next season but could bought out for $5 million by June 30. A Celtic his entire career, Pierce still holds sentimental value in Boston, complicating any options.

Bob Finnan of The News-Herald:

Sources indicate Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge will likely buy out forward Paul Pierce’s $15 million contract for next year

Rich Levine of CSN New England:

But for it’s worth, I spoke with a team source this weekend who immediately laughed off this report.

The funny part wasn’t the idea that the Celtics will buy out Pierce, because, as we know, that’s obviously within the realm of possibility. The joke was the suggestion that the C’s are “likely” to do anything at this point in time.

I’d think Pierce, who has only one season remaining on his contract, would hold plenty of trade value. He’d appeal to both teams looking for a quality small forward and teams looking to shed long-term salary.

The Celtics can trade Pierce right now – potentially interesting additional teams that would want to buy him out – to any team other than the Spurs, Heat and Pacers. Once those teams are eliminated, Boston can talk trade with them, too. So, the Celtics have time to gauge the best way to part ways with Pierce – or if they even want to go that wrote.

  1. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears - May 28, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    The hardest part in trading him will be putting the sentimental value to the side that other teams don’t care about. The reason he never got traded at the deadline might just be the Celtics overvalue him

  2. saint1997 - May 28, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    They just have to make this move. I appreciate the sentimental value but perhaps a high pick in the 2014 draft and some solid talent to pair with Rondo and Green (possible Bradley) would be the better route for the Cs. Thinking long-term, it would only be 2-3 years in the lottery before the talents of Rondo and Doc start pushing this team to an up and coming 4 or 5 seed, rather than rebuilding a perpetual, declining 7 or 8 seed

  3. saint1997 - May 28, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    3 team deal idea I just had? Pierce (and maybe KG) to Clippers, Bledsoe and Jordan to Kings, DMC to Celtics? I haven’t balanced out salaries yet but it seems every team gets enough benefit out of that deal to justify it

  4. ccoppola18 - May 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Gerald Wallace, Marshon Brooks, and a 2015 first round draft pick for Pierce. Fits both teams evenly.

  5. pdub923 - May 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Pierce deserves to retire a Celtic. I hated seeing Olajuwon as a Raptor and Ewing with Seattle/Orlando. Certain players should retire with their career-long teams and he is one of them. As their production goes down, maybe they should take less money so the team can move on financially, but they should try all options and be open with their franchise guy who has given everything to them and not just trade him away. Also would love to see Garnett play a final year in Minnesota if he is thinking of retiring. Good way to come full circle, a-la Scottie Pippen with Chicago.

    • 1historian - May 29, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      I agree with you but sentiment does not – and should not – play a part in this.

  6. jcmeyer10 - May 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    As a Celtics fan, I go back and forth on this everyday. I see the Pats being contenders every year by being cold blooded but there is also a sense in me that says, just let him play it out.

    Pierce has toughed it out through the ‘Toine years, it seems the least we could do is let him ride out into the sunset on his own terms.

  7. jadaruler - May 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    I would like to see Pierce retire a Celtic, but Boston has to do what’s best for them. They foolishly gave KG 3 years, now they have to cleanup this mess.

    A trade with Houston, LAC, Memphis, and many other teams make sense.

  8. errk2002 - May 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    This seems a little hasty. It is worth something for him to be a Celtic for life, plus he is not terribly overpaid. Even if his stats drop a little next year, he is worth at least 12-13 million per year. Considering he was the only thing that kept them from being a laughingstock before Allen and Garnett got there, an extra 2.5 million a year is pretty small.

  9. misterdreamer119 - May 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Trade him or cut him. Its time to move on. Everything has an end.

  10. zacksdad - May 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Can they just buy him out and then sign him to a smaller amount? I know they cannot do that when they amnesty a player. So if he wants to stay with the Celtics, he could give the discount.

  11. kungfubowler - May 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    “… even want to go that [i]wrote.[\i]”

    Wrote? I think you mean “route.”

  12. progress2011 - May 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Never been a Celtic fan but I was happy to see the trio (Garnett, Pierce and Allen) win a chip.

    “The Truth” will always have a shot, even when he is 90 yrs old. But he has hit that spot as all elite athletes do, where he is no longer an elite player.

    He has won almost every accolade at the highest level. If he has saved his money and is content with life, he can walk away from the game as a player…….”GRACEFULLY”.

  13. 1historian - May 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Thumbs up but – there are very few players who can just walk away as long as they have a few arrows left in their quiver.

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