With free agency just an hour away, Dan Woike of the Orange County Register tweeted a list of players the Clippers will have their eyes on.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 1, 2014
Of all of the names mentioned, only one is relatively new and that’s Brooklyn Nets unrestricted free agent Paul Pierce. While there has been no source to connect Pierce and the Clippers, there was expected to be interested from both parties as there is a connection that draws them to each other. Pierce wants to play for a contender; the Clippers classify as such. Pierce wants to start; the Clippers are looking for a starting small forward. Pierce has often reiterated the want to play in his hometown; the Clippers are located in Los Angles. Once you add in the Doc Rivers connection, it’s a dead giveaway that Pierce could become a Clipper by free agency’s end.
The only thing stopping many from saying it’s a done deal is money.
After making $15 million last season, it’s difficult to put a finger on what Pierce may demand. One thing’s for sure, he won’t be making that kind of money anymore. Averaging 13.5 points on 45% shooting as a member of the Nets last season, father time has forced Pierce into a secondary role, unable to carry a team offensively anymore. Defensively he’s lost a step and the shot that was once his trademark, the patented elbow, it just isn’t falling like it used to.
So what is he worth? Anything close to the full mid-level–roughly $5 million–makes sense. Depending on what his priorities are, he could fit into the bi-annual exception of $2.077 million. It all comes down to what he wants to put first: the money or the contention. Based on the power play to get traded from Boston to Brooklyn, it feels safe to say contention holds the most weight at the moment.
As for the rest of the list, these names have all been spoken on. It’ll take several salary dumps and the trading of Blake Griffin/DeAndre Jordan to fit LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony onto the roster.
For Ariza, the Clippers would have to hope he’d take a pay cut in order to fit into the full mid-level.
As for Darren Collison and Glen Davis, the Clippers have expressed interest in re-signing both.