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Report: Clippers, Nets talk Paul Pierce sign-and-trade

Jul 3, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

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Right now these talks are preliminary, because if LeBron James decides to leave Miami the Clippers want in that discussion with all their available weapons (they would have to do a sign-and-trade). Nobody around the league thinks LeBron bolting South Beach is likely, but such is the power and draw of LeBron that even a hint he could come has slowed the free agent market waiting for that domino to fall.

However, the Clippers and Nets have had preliminary talks about a sign-and-trade that would re-unite Paul Pierce and his former coach Doc Rivers, reports Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk at ESPN.

And while the Clippers could simply sign Pierce as a free agent using their midlevel exception at $5.3 million, they are interested in pursuing sign-and-trade scenarios that would allow Brooklyn to get something in return for the 10-time All-Star and because the Clippers already have so many small forwards….

The Clippers likely would include some combination of Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and last year’s first-round pick, Reggie Bullock, according to sources.

Jamal Crawford also could be in that mix.

Pierce was firmly in the Jason Kidd camp in Brooklyn and with Kidd now actually having to develop players in Milwaukee it is unclear how Pierce — or Kevin Garnett — feel about the old-school Lionel Hollins coming in as coach. He can leave as a free agent, but he can get more money from the Clippers via a sign-and-trade. Plus the Nets would get something back in return.

Improving at the three and adding depth to the front line are two of the Clippers big off-season priorities (as well as re-signing Darren Collison or landing another quality backup point guard).

The Clippers brought in Jared Dudley play the three last year but the previously solid jack-of-all-trades player struggled to fit in Rivers’ system and his efficiency (and needed three point shooting) fell off. The Clippers are on the hunt for a replacement and Rivers the GM likes to go to players that either played well for him before or played well against him in the past. Pierce certainly fits that mold, and even at age 37 the crafty veteran small forward can get you some buckets (and would find it easier in Los Angles where Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would draw the attention of defenses).

  1. saint1997 - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Not sure if it’s worth giving up Crawford for
    Pierce, he’s just such an important part of that team

    • 88heatnation - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      Pierce provides more leadership, much better defense, higher basketball IQ, better shot selections, and most importantly he’s clutch in late game situations.

      • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        5 years ago maybe def not now. He is giving up high light reels (ie shumpert) on defense bc of age

  2. money2long - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Don’t wanna see KG retire if this goes down.

    • ebecks34 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Well, KG in fact retired last year, but forgot to tell anybody.

  3. bostonian13 - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    As much as I love Pierce, he’s not worth giving up Crawford. He’s up there in age, slower, and is not as clutch as he once was. Crawford is a bit younger, faster, and can hit clutch shots. Lets not forget how well he thrives as the 6th man, we don’t know how Pierce will do in that role.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Pierce had a nice revival playing as an undersized power forward for the Nets once they embraced playing small.

      He’s not fast enough to take on small forwards off the dribble any more, but he can still get past power-forwards, and he’s able to use his strength and smarts to defend bigger power forwards in the post.

      I think he’d be a really good get for the Clippers as a backup for Griffin who could always spend some time at small forward. However, I agree that losing Crawford, who is almost 3 years younger than Pierce, is a high price.

  4. wiltchamberlainthethird - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    LOL that pic is gold. Pierce giving JKidd the cold shoulder like ‘I’m tired of listening to yo a**, Doc draw a real play up’

  5. j0esixpack - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    There’s no reason why the Clippers shouldn’t be in “win now” mode

    The sign and trade gives them more cap flexibility. and while they’d need to clear out a lot more cap space, it’d be great to see Pierce and Garnett reunited with Doc (as the NBA should have allowed in the first place)

    Doc’s smart enough to know that regardless of what seed he is in the playoffs, if he can limit the minutes for guys like Pierce (or Garnett!) all that matters is that they are healthy and rested come playoff time. If that could happen, along with the other front line players the Clippers have, watch out!

    Meanwhile, the Nets are in “lose now” mode – too bad they don’t have any draft picks for the next half a decade.

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