Just filed to
ESPN.com: Celtics' Paul Pierce is opting out, too. Has notified Celts
he'll become unrestricted free agent. Link forthcoming
This could simply be a move to restructure his deal and come back for a few years and make more than the $21 million he's due this year.
Remember, we could have a lockout next year… so a guy like Pierce might just want to be under contract during that time, rather than at the tail end of his career with no contract and a possibly new deal that could cost him millions after a significant portion of a season is lost.
UPDATE: Full story on ESPN
"Pierce is opting out" said Schwartz in a text message to ESPN.com's
By opting out, Pierce will forfeit next season's
$21.5 million salary but becomes eligible to sign a new four-year deal
with the Celtics worth a maximum of $96 million and can receive
four-year offers from other teams worth a maximum $93 million.
Pierce's name has scarcely been mentioned in the buildup to the
summer of 2010 free-agent bonanza because, as with Dallas' Dirk
Nowitzki, most rival executives believe that the Celtics would never
allow the go-to scorer of the 2008 championship team to walk.
Sources said that Pierce will begin free agency by talking first
to the Celtics when the market opens on Thursday at 12:01 a.m., but the
32-year-old will field other offers.
I suppose fielding offers comes with the territory. I think that's a bit of posturing. Everything Pierce has said has been about him coming back… but business is business. He had a deadline to make a decision and he made it. He may wait until hearing Doc and Ray's decisions before making one himself.