There aren’t a ton of ways that the Brooklyn Nets can upgrade their roster this offseason, but if they hope to at least maintain the status quo they’ll have to convince Paul Pierce to return. Which is why it was interesting to hear an ESPNNewYork.com report that the Nets and Los Angeles Clippers were supposedly discussing a sign-and-trade to reunite Pierce with his former coach Doc Rivers.
Fortunately, for Nets fans, those talks didn’t seem to immediately go anywhere.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Nets weren’t interested in the names that the Clippers were willing to offer — Jared Dudley and Matt Barnes or Reggie Bullock — and they will instead try to re-sign Pierce for themselves.
The problem was that the Nets just didn’t think that was enough to give up for Pierce. Broussard did mention that if the Clippers were willing to discuss potentially including Jamal Crawford or J.J. Redick in a deal that they could revisit the possibility. As of right now those names don’t appear on the table though.
Pierce spent his entire career with the Boston Celtics before a trade brought him to Brooklyn last offseason. Pierce has made it clear that he never intended on leaving Boston and now suddenly doesn’t appear to be a guy that will travel around the league. That gives Brooklyn, a team he grew at least somewhat comfortable with last year, a leg up. However, the Rivers connection is real so if he does leave then the Clippers seem a likely landing spot.
The problem for the Clippers is that they can only afford to pay him $5 million while the Nets can offer him $10 million or more depending on how many years they agree upon. So, since it’s all about the money, Los Angeles seems unlikely unless they can work out a sign-and-trade.