The Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets have been in discussions about a sign-and-trade deal for Paul Pierce in a move that would reunite Pierce with Doc Rivers, with whom he won an NBA title in Boston.
Rivers, who coached him for nine seasons, has reached out to Pierce, ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk report. There are any number of ways the Clippers could go about landing Pierce, who is 36, and, at the moment, L.A. isn’t offering enough for a sign-and-trade deal to go down. From Shelburne and Youngmisuk:
And while the Clippers could simply sign Pierce as a free agent using their midlevel exception at $5.3 million, they are interested in pursuing sign-and-trade scenarios that would allow Brooklyn to get something in return for the 10-time All-Star and because the Clippers already have so many small forwards.
Because Brooklyn holds his Bird rights, a sign-and-trade also would allow Pierce — who made $15.3 million last season — to sign for more than the midlevel exception.
The Clippers likely would include some combination of Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and last year’s first-round pick, Reggie Bullock, according to sources.
When free agency opened Tuesday morning, Rivers made no secret that his first priority was Darren Collison, “one of our guys that opted out. He’s a little guy. That’s very important for us.”
The Clippers still might like one of the big guys, too, though. Their name has come up in conversations about free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.