It’s very possible that Paul Pierce is gone from DC
Free agent negotiations begin Wednesday, and the Washington Wizards must deal with possibly losing veteran forward Paul Pierce. Here’s CSN Washington reporting:
With the Wizards now knowing for certain that Paul Pierce will opt out of the second year of his contract, they’ll proceed as if he’s not returning and secure a replacement (It may be a longshot but he still could re-sign here and get 120% of last season’s $5.5 million salary).
They don’t have any room under the salary cap so free agents such as DeMarre Carroll or Khris Middleton, blossoming, younger small forwards on the market who are in line for career paydays, are out of the question. The Wizards would have to acquire players of that caliber through a sign-and-trade but don’t have the assets to facilitate such a deal.
They have to make it work with two salary-cap exceptions at their disposal: Mid-level of just more than $5 million (used to sign Pierce) and the bi-annual exception of just more than $2 million (used two seasons ago to sign Eric Maynor).
In regular game situations, Pierce, well past his prime at this point, is replaceable. But as he showed in the playoffs, when clutch shots need to be hit, Pierce is as good as anyone in the league.