The Boston Celtics announced Monday they have signed Celtics legend Paul Pierce to a contract to enable him to officially retire as a Celtic.
Pierce announced he would end his 19-year career last season and Doc Rivers had promised to release him form the Los Angeles Clippers so that he could retire a Celtic. The Celtics were able to sign Pierce after waiving Demetrius Jackson Saturday. After signing Pierce, the Celtics then requested waivers on Pierce, re-opening the roster spot to sign Guerschon Yabusele in the coming weeks per sources.
The Celtics will retire Pierce’s number 34, owner Wyc Grousbeck said in the team’s press release.
"It's an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic," Pierce said. "The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn’t imagine ending my career any other way. I’m a Celtic for life.”
Pierce finished his career as a 10-time All-Star, playing 15 seasons with the Celtics to finish only behind John Havlicek (16) for the most in franchise history. Expected to be a Hall of Famer after winning the 2008 title with the Celtics, Pierce averaged 21.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 36.6 minutes in 1,102 games with the Celtics. He finishes as the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers (1,823), free throws (6,434), and steals (1,583). He was the second all-time leading scorer with 24,021 behind Havlicek.
“We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic. He is among the very best Celtics – a champion on and off the court,” said Grousbeck in the press release. “We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”
Signing Pierce will not affect the team’s salary for cap purposes this season, a source told CelticsBlog. Demetrius Jackson cleared waivers Monday after the Pierce announcement per sources, after the team requested waivers on Jackson Saturday. This will not affect signing rookie Guerschon Yabusele, which will be completed in the near future after Pierce clears waivers Wednesday and other technical matters are settled.