NBA Roundtable

Paul Pierce Opting Out

In Free Agency on June 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Marc Stein (via Twitter)

Just filed to Celtics’ Paul Pierce is opting out, too. Has notified Celts he’ll become unrestricted free agent

Golden Opportunity

This combined with Rasheed Wallace’s intention to retire gives the Celtics the option of cutting ties with several of their free agents and entering free agency with slightly over $15 million in cap space to spend on a big name free agent.

Someone young enough to combine with Rondo and Perkins to give them a medium to long term future to build around. Those three players combined with present day Kevin Garnett would keep the Celtics near the top of the East + when Kevin’s contract comes closer to expiring the Celtics would have another opportunity to land another elite talent most likely via a trade.

I’ll do an updated Celtics cap post in a few hours along with a couple of other teams that made cap related moves on draft day.

Re-Signing Pierce

I would not re-sign Paul Pierce. I am firmly against signing Pierce to a long term contract because it will adversely effect Rondo’s future and make it far more difficult to build a contender with Rondo as a building block post Big-Three.

However, there is a good chance Danny Ainge does re-sign. So what figures would constitute a good deal?

  • Pierce is currently worth $12-15 million
  • Pierce has declined considerably over the past two years and should continue to decline
  • Pierce’s intelligence, well rounded game and excellent fundamentals should allow him to age well.
  • I am thinking around $50 million over four years is a fair deal for both sides. On a descending contract.

Danny Ainge is one of the most cut-throat GM’s in the league. There is a small chance that he refuses to pay Pierce what Pierce thinks he deserves. I am hoping it plays out like that for Boston.

Although, one problem with that scenario is that it will take time and several of the top free agents will be off the board at that stage.

Money, Money, Money

ESPN notes

By opting out, Pierce will forfeit next season’s $21.5 million salary but becomes eligible to sign a new four-year deal with the Celtics worth a maximum of $96 million and can receive four-year offers from other teams worth a maximum $93 million.

It is unlikely Pierce would receive a contract longer than four years, because a fifth season would begin when Pierce was 37 and — under the league’s over-36 rule — would have costly salary cap implications for any team signing him.

Asked recently to gauge the likelihood of re-signing Pierce, Celtics vice president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said last week on WEEI Radio in Boston: “I don’t know because he may be able to get a long-term contract somewhere else. It may be better than what we have [to offer].”

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