By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on July 14, 2014
It was widely expected he'd either return to the Brooklyn Nets or join the Los Angeles Clippers and reunite with coach Doc Rivers, but Paul Pierce has agreed to a two-year deal with the Washington Wizards.
As Pierce nears the end of a distinguished career, here are five takeaways from his decision to sign with Washington.
Kevin Durant will be a free agent in the summer of 2016, and he will have multiple suitors if he truly tests the market. The Wizards may try to bring the Washington, D.C. native home with a max contract offer, and Pierce's two-year deal fits that possible plan.
Pierce does not have to be the star in Washington, with the backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal around to take that attention. As long as he is healthy, Pierce can still be a productive offensive player and someone to rely on late in games.
The balance of power in the Eastern Conference is shifting with LeBron James leaving Miami, and adding Pierce as a veteran mentor to a young team means the Wizards sense an opportunity to make a deep postseason run in the near future.
Pierce enters next season 18th in NBA history with 25,031 points, and he has repeatedly said he wants to play two more seasons. Even with production in line with a relatively lackluster 2013-14 season with the Nets (1,010 points), he would finish among the top-10 point scorers in league history.
Pierce and Garnett have basically been joined at the hip since Garnett was traded to Boston. With the Nets' reported decision not to match Pierce's offer from Washington, Garnett may choose to call it a career despite speculation he will return next season.
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