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 close to the process told ESPN.com on Saturday that Pierce has committed to sign a two-year, $11 million deal with the Wizards, who moved swiftly to find a title tested replacement for Trevor Ariza after Ariza struck an agreement earlier in the day to join theHouston Rockets.
Paul Pierce will join a Wizards team that moved quickly to reach a deal with the veteran forward after losing Trevor Ariza to the Rockets.
The contract, sources said, has a player option after this season that will allow Pierce, 36, to return to free agency next summer if he chooses.
Obama , J Wall here I come
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 13, 2014
I did a quadruple take when this first appeared on my Twitter timeline last night. I literally Googled it, checked a few reliable Twitter accounts and a few websites before I could believe it. And this is in no way similar to the feeling I got last year when we all found out Pierce & KG were being traded to the Nets. I’m not a bit mad or sad, just baffled. Probably not quite as baffled as Nets fans are though-what the hell has Billy King been drinking? But hey, thanks for the draft picks B.K.
Stein reported that the Dallas Mavericks, LA Lakers (oh hell naw) and Houston Rockets were among other teams interested in signing the 2008 NBA Finals MVP. Pierce should be a nice fit for a rather young Wizards team that got within two wins of the Eastern Conference Finals last season. With an average age of 24, the guys in Washington’s locker room can do nothing but benefit from having a battle tested warrior like the 36-year old Pierce around. He brings to the table passion, high basketball-IQ and a competitive spirit that is second to none.
With the recent resigning of Marcin Gortat to a five-year deal and now picking up Pierce, the Wizards have definitely given their fans reason to be optimistic. They have a fantastic young back court in John Wall & Bradley Beal and this should be a very exciting season in D.C. Can’t say that I feel the same about Pierce’s former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Billy King and the rest of the Nets’ brass supposedly were not interested in resigning Pierce, they let backup PG Shaun Livingston go after Livingston had an inspiring season & became a fan favorite, have yet another new coach/system this year and both Brook Lopez & Deron Williams will be coming off of surgery. Supposedly Prokhorov’s goal was to bring Brooklyn a championship within five years of him purchasing the team, but that’s looking highly unlikely at this point. In my opinion anyway.
The other question on fans’ minds last night was what becomes of KG? It was reported back in June that Garnett was going to come back to Brooklyn for his 20th NBA season, but now with Pierce gone, will the Big Ticket retire? Newly hired Nets coach Lionel Hollins used the word “if” last week when talking about Garnett and what has role on the 2014-15 squad would/could be.
Bottom line for me as a huge Truth fan, I’m just glad he’ll still be on the east coast. That means I’ll get to see him come to the Garden a couple of times a year, and I can always take the short Amtrak trip down to D.C. to watch him as well. I have nothing but love for Pierce, and wish him the best this coming season. It was strange seeing him in a Brooklyn jersey, and will undoubtedly be odd as hell seeing him in the red, white & blue of Washington.
*UPDATE* If you believe Chris Broussard, KG will in fact be returning to the Nets next season:
Despite loss of P Pierce, I'm told KGarnett likes direction of Nets and is "excited" about joining them for the upcoming season
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 13, 2014
On Page 2: Are you willing to suffer through another lost season?
I want nothing more than to see the Boston Celtics return to the upper echelon of the NBA. Personally, as an older fan, last year was not my first time watching the C’s stink it up for 82 games. And if we have to muddle our way through another year to get where we need to be, I can deal with it. Our pal Chris Forsberg believes that next summer, with the right moves from Ainge, the C’s could be in position to snag not one, but possibly two impact players:
If the Celtics did nothing more than shed nonguaranteed deals this summer, they’d stand to clear another $32.2 million in salary at the end of the 2014-15 season as the contracts of Rajon Rondo, Marcus Thornton, Brandon Bass and Joel Anthony expire. That alone isn’t enough to make Boston a true player in the free-agent market next summer, particularly if the team desires to re-sign (or at least use his rights as a way to get return value). But things could get a lot more intriguing.
Jeff Green holds a player option for the 2015-16 season. While most would contend that he’s played below his salary rate in Boston, you can’t help but wonder what kind of money he might command on the open market (particularly when you look at the salaries being extended this offseason).
Sure, there are definitely some big “ifs” involved, but what Forsberg says really makes sense. With a little help, Boston could unload some serious money off of their books and put themselves in a position to be a serious player in the summer of 2015. At the time of this posting, 82% of the 6,000+ Celts fans polled thought that clearing cap space and focusing on next summer was the way to go. Read the full piece & cast your vote here.
The rest of the links: