NBA: Pierce opts out of contract, becomes free agent

Paul Pierce, forward for the Washington Wizards, has opted out of the final year in his contract with the team and will become a free agent on July 1.

This move by Pierce was not a surprise since there was a strong likelihood that he will earn more on the open market, as well as be able to finish his career on his own terms.

The Wizards reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in Pierce’s first season with the team. Pierce averaged 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 73 starts during the regular season.

Yahoo Sports reported that Pierce may be interested in a return to Boston, where he played for 15 seasons.

According to source Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics are apparently using Pierce, along with Robin Lopez, as luring pieces for Kevin Love to come to Boston. There has also been talk for Pierce to join the Celtics in a front office role after his retirement.

No longer able to sustain playing starter level minutes, Pierce has gradually turned into a veteran whose mark is made primarily in the playoffs – upping his points per game to 14.6 points and 52 percent three-point shooting in the playoffs this year.

The Los Angeles Clippers tried getting Pierce to Los Angeles last season, but were strapped financially and unable to close the deal. Although the Clippers are in a similar predicament this season, a sign-and-trade deal could be hashed out to please both sides.

Should the Clippers, on the verge of a championship already, land Pierce, it would be a homecoming for the Inglewood, California native.

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