In any other circumstance, we'd be on Paul Pierce watch 24/7 this week. Yet despite the fact that the Captain, The Truth, the greatest Celtic of this generation, might be on his last days as a Celtic, this story has gone largely under-reported and under the radar.
There's only 3 doors for Ainge to walk through with Pierce. He can let the deadline pass without incident and keep Paul Pierce for the last year of his contract (or till the trade deadline, whatever). He can put Pierce on waivers and reduce the payroll by roughly $10M (which would still not give us room to sign a big name free agent). Or he could trade him for value if he can find any.
That last option would appear to be Danny's first choice (even if it wouldn't be mine). So is there any interest around the league? Apparently so.
League sources said that while Pierce is 35 and had a poor showing in the Celtics’ final two playoff games, there is better-than-average interest in him on the trade market. Specifically, those sources said, playoff teams that are looking to make a deeper postseason push consider Pierce’s scoring and veteran presence valuable.
Earlier this week there were rumors that the Cavs and Bucks had shown interest but I'm not sure either would be qualified as "playoff teams" just yet. We know that the Nets have tried on a couple of occasions to trade for Pierce. I have to wonder if the Thunder would be interested. The Clippers are apparently interested, but seem to think that he'll be available as a free agent after the Celtics or some other team waives him.
Should be an interesting week ahead to say the least.