Could Paul Pierce return to Celtics next year, retire as a Celtic?
Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge said that he anticipates the Celtics’ rebuilding process to be much faster than the first time the franchise bottomed out under his watch.
Most C’s fans have signed up for the 2013-14 plan which includes landing in the lottery AND keeping Rajon Rondo. While that plan will be difficult to execute with Rondo previously stating that he plans to be ready for the start of the season and new head coach Brad Stevens having no intention of “tanking,” it is possible.
Furthering the “pipe dream plan” is the fact that Paul Pierce will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2014. The Nets would be able to pay Pierce the most amount of money under the current CBA but the Celtics could certainly make a run at their former captain in free agency. No. 34 will surely see his pricetag go down no matter what occurs with the Nets this season (he will make $15 million this season).
Surely Boston would want Pierce to return to help guide whatever potential stud they land in the 2014 draft and, of course, to ease the pain of C’s fans that wanted to see Pierce retire as a Celtic.
Pierce will be 37-years-old at the beginning of the 2014-15 season.
There do not appear to be hard feelings on the part of Pierce towards Ainge and the Celtics despite the 2013 draft night trade. Pierce tweeted out an instagram photo of himself and Ainge in the days leading up to his introductory press conference with the Nets.