Celtics’ boss Danny Ainge still hasn’t made (or at least executed) any decision regarding the future of Paul Pierce. But on Sunday, CSNNE’s Greg Dickerson said he believes Pierce will not be a Celtic next season, and said Pierce likely feels the same way.
"I don't think they will (bring Pierce back)," Dickerson said Sunday on CSNNE. "And I know that the company that Paul Pierce hangs around in, they do not believe – and I don't think Paul Pierce believes – that he is going to be brought back next year at $15 million. I know for a fact that people around Paul Pierce have pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that he's played his final game in a Boston Celtics uniform. Again, Paul wants to stay – obviously for $15 million, but he wants to finish his career in a Celtics uniform."
We could pick apart the language here – does he mean he won’t be back at $15 million or at all? – but really its just speculation on top of speculation, and only time will tell. It’s interesting that Pierce (according to Dickerson) feels this way, but it’s important to recognize this is inside information about Pierce’s state of mind – and not Danny Ainge’s.
Pierce has one year left on his contract and is scheduled to make $15.3 million. The contract, however, is not guaranteed, meaning the Celtics could waive him and take a $5 million cap hit or waive him and exercise their amnesty clause to avoid the cap hit. Of course, they could also ask him to renegotiate his deal for less money or trade him.
Asked whether he believes the Celtics will trade Pierce or buy him out, Dickerson said: "One way or the other. Probably a buyout. More than likely a buyout."
Should Pierce not return, Kevin Garnett has intimitated he won't either.
"If Paul's gone, I think without a doubt Kevin Garnett is gone – either by retirement or he finally decides to waive his no-trade clause, and the Celtics maybe work something out with a (Los Angeles Clippers) team," said Dickerson. "But the list is real short; the teams that Kevin Garnett would go to, there might be two of them on it, and they both might be the Clippers and (Los Angeles) Lakers."