Paul Pierce has been a member of the Boston Celtics organization for his entire career. He has been here during the good times and the bad, and will easily go down as one of the greatest Celtics of all time. Heck, depending on how much longer he plays, he will go down as one of the greatest players of all time, a no doubt first ballot hall of famer. An interesting scenario very well could play out at this season’s end. Pierce holds a player option for next season, meaning that he could decline to pick it up and he would subsequently become a free agent, free to sign with any team of his choosing.
Will Pierce decide to opt out? It is a cloudy situation and a lot of it depends on how he plays this season. If there are signs of obvious decline, then he will obviously re-up because he wouldn’t make as much on the open market. The Celtics have done a good job getting younger on the fly and it really doesn’t make sense to invest another $10-15 million on a player with declining skills, even if he is the face of the franchise. But, unfortunately, that is Pierce’s call. GM Danny Ainge has shown to never be shy about trading a player, as Pierce has nearly been dealt multiple times throughout the years, most recently last season, when there were rumors of him being shipped to the then New Jersey Nets right before the trading deadline.
Would it make sense to trade Pierce this season to get a young asset back? It would, but there would have to be dire circumstances in order for that to happen. The Celtics would have to be underachieving at a ridiculous level in order for Ainge to sell of his valuable pieces.
If Pierce did leave after this year, where would he go if he didn’t stay in Boston? This is pure speculation, but I really think a return to the West Coast, where he is from, would be a desirable region for him to finish up his career. I think the Los Angeles Lakers or the Golden State Warriors would both make a serious play for him and I can see him going to either team, especially the Lakers if they chose to not bring Metta World Peace back. The thought of Pierce in a Lakers uniform I’m sure makes Celtics fans cringe, but you have to remember he grew up a Lakers fan and I am sure he would be open to finishing up his career with the team he used to love.
Pierce will forever always be a Celtic, but it is becoming more a possibility that this very well could be his last season in Boston. Whatever happens you can be sure Celtics fans will always a hold a special place for him in their hearts’.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news check out the Celtics team page on Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter at @rlunder18