Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Sources indicate Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge will likely buy out forward Paul Pierce’s $15 million contract for next year ($5 million is guaranteed). If that happens, [Cleveland Cavaliers GM Chris] Grant should be first in line to try to acquire Pierce’s services. However, before anyone gets too giddy, Pierce will likely want to go to a serious contender.
News-Herald (Northern Ohio)
There’s always some random person somewhere that has “sources that indicate” something. I don’t know who Bob Finnan is, or who his sources might be. He could be talking to a few people he knows with the Cavs who say “yeah, I hear they might buy him out”… and there you go… sources are saying something. So I’ll take this with a grain of salt.
Still, the reports are circulating about Pierce, and it makes sense. With the Celtics over the tax line, $10 million in savings will go a long way.
There IS a way to bring Pierce back, though (I think). I haven’t seen anything that prevents the Celtics from re-signing Pierce with the bi-annual exception after they waive him. Letting him go would mean giving up his Bird Rights (the rights that allow you to sign a player that’s been with you for three or more years to a contract that exceeds the salary cap). But it wouldn’t prevent him from returning as a regular free-agent.
IF the Celtics want to keep Pierce, they could pay him the $5 million in a buyout, then sign him for a year at $2 million, essentially giving him $7 million to play here.
Again… I think this is true and I haven’t seen any language in the CBA that prevents it. The league, however, does hold the right to prevent any gaming of the system. So well see if it can actually happen. If it is allowed, the Celtics would end up saving $8 million on the cap this year, bringing their overall number down to $68 million. If the tax line is somewhere around $72 million, that extra $2 million they pay Pierce could become problematic without subsequent moves to pare down money. This is all assuming their goal is to not pay taxes this year.
The Cavs probably would be first in line should Danny Ainge waive Paul Pierce. But if I’m Pierce, I’m looking at 2 options: (1) returning to Boston at a super home-town discount like I described above, thus cementing him in the hearts of C’s fans or (2) going to home to Los Angeles and signing with the Clippers if they offer some kind of mid-level deal.
That’s about it to me. I’m not going to begrudge the guy for taking the opportunity to play at home for once. If the C’s are going to cut him loose, then he might as well take advantage of it and have some fun in front of his friends and family.
Pierce doesn’t want to leave Boston. And I’m sure the C’s don’t WANT to cut him. But business is business, and sometimes you do things you have to do, but don’t want to do.
There’s still a good month before this all has to go down. We’ll see if any new reports come out between now and then.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Larkin makes short stop in Boston | Adams a center of attention | CSNNE: Conference Call: Will Doc be back? | Globe: Shane Larkin among familiar faces at C’s workout | Herald: Danny Ainge, NBA Teams, covet public presence of Doc Rivers | Lawrence Journal World: Jeff Withey works out for Celtics