According to Fox Sports anchor John Telich:
Hearing Bucks, TWovles and Cavs have offered deals to Boston for Paul Pierce. #nba Cavs off 2 second rd picks.
Before you scream, “But Paul Pierce is worth way more than 2nd round picks!” know that any such deal that doesn’t include additional players would have to involve a traded player exception (TPE) equal to Pierce’s contract.
The Celtics could then use that exception in a deal with another team.
But… According to Hoopsworld – my go-to website for player salaries – neither the Cavs nor the Wolves have trade exceptions. The Bucks have about $3 million in TPE. So there has to be more to the alleged rumors.
My bad. A trade exception is created when an under-the-cap team makes an uneven deal with an over-the-cap team. (This 2011 article from ESPN explains TPE)
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio has more info on Cleveland’s alleged interest:
As for the rumors involving the Cavs, the Boston Celtics and forward Paul Pierce, sources confirmed the Cavs have indeed expressed an interest — but the talks have yet to reach the level of seriousness conveyed by some reports.
Following the departure of coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Celtics are looking to gut the roster and shed salary, making Pierce and forward Kevin Garnett (and possibly even point guard Rajon Rondo) available. Word is, however, that Pierce wants to play for a contender, making the Cavs hesitant to be overly aggressive in his pursuit.
Still, some sources indicated the Celtics have until the 13th pick to decide whether to accept the Cavs’ offer for Pierce. If not, those sources said, the Cavs will pull the trigger on the potential deal with the Mavericks.
Another source added the Cavs’ reported offer of both second-rounders for Pierce “isn’t the entire truth.”
Amico adds that one team has inquired about Anderson Varejao but the Cavs have not been too receptive.
Could the Celtics be that team?