Paul Pierce expressed his frustration with the Brooklyn Nets after their disappointing 3-7 start this season. He and Kevin Garnett left the Boston Celtics to pursue another NBA title with the Nets. If things start to fall apart for the Nets, Pierce may be on the trading block and the Philadelphia 76ers could be one of those suitors.
Pierce would give the Sixers the added veteran presence and help the younger players develop faster by adding his championship and Finals MVP experience. The biggest upside to acquiring Pierce is he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this season so the Sixers can still make some big moves during the offseason.
The Sixers would have to surrender a few talented players and possibly a first-round pick in order to rent Pierce for the season, but they can make a trade work without dealing a first rounder and Nerlens Noel if the Nets realize the Pierce experiment doesn’t work.
James Anderson, Tony Wroten, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes are all players the Nets might be interested in. Pierce makes over $15 million this season, so the Sixers would have to include Turner, Hawes and either Wroten or Anderson and a second-round pick to make the deal work. Making the trade work is the only downfall, but with adding Pierce the Sixers have an identity.
The Sixers can also rid themselves of Turner, who’s starting to be a headache for the team with his antics. Turner’s averaging 22 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists while Pierce averages 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists this season, so they would be giving up big scoring just to bring in experience.
Pierce’s stats may have fallen, but he would be a much needed locker room presence for young team in rebuilding mode. His skills can hopefully rub off on the rest of the Sixers, so they can be a championship contender at a quicker pace, particularly if they fail to make the playoffs and win the draft lottery.
Pierce may seem unhappy, but could see the Sixers as a better opportunity as well considering they have a better record than the Nets and are in playoff position at this moment.