LA Times- The Clippers gained a giant lure in their pursuit of DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Paul Pierce on a three-year, $10.5-million contract that will reunite the veteran small forward with Coach Doc Rivers.
Pierce and Rivers won an NBA title together with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and will almost surely try to pitch Jordan on their collective potential with the Clippers, who will get the last word in the bidding for the free-agent center Thursday.
The Clippers will sign the former Inglewood High star with their so-called mini-midlevel exception, their primary financial tool in free agency, and will likely slot him into the starting small forward spot vacated by Matt Barnes, who was traded last month.
Reeeeunited, and it feeels sooo good! Did Doc just completely alter his reputation as a GM with the signing of one player? He certainly improved it a great deal. Is three years a goddamn eternity for a player that seemingly defies the laws of aging every year? I suppose. However, you know that contract is littered with more options than a hermaphrodite with 3 tits. No way the team is tied to him for that long if his play starts to drastically decline. You wanted bench scoring and veteran leadership? You got bench scoring and veteran leadership, and you got it in bounds. Perhaps the best part about signing Paul Pierce is it takes some of the pressure away from signing another capable depth player in the front court. Yeah, the Clippers will still need another big body to fill out the roster, but Paul Pierce has played his best basketball during the last two years as a stretch power forward. For a team that struggled to score when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were on the bench, Paul Pierce certainly adds another wrinkle to the offense as well as a lot of versatility when it comes to starting units as well as secondary units. You want to discuss the elephant in the room? The Clippers don't lose game 6 to Houston, and they certainly don't piss away a 3-1 series lead, with someone that has the competitive spirit of Paul Pierce on the team. The guy is as clutch as they come and he's a winner. Two things this franchise needs if they want to progress further than the second round.
Listen, everyone and their mother knows the team still needs DeAndre Jordan. In fact, they need DeAndre as much as DeAndre needs them, even if he doesn't know it yet. Signing Paul Pierce while Jordan is still undecided is like hearing that your side chick is coming into town while you and your wife are in the midst of a trial separation. It's nice to hear, but it doesn't do you much good in the long term. Its like getting invited to a BBQ when there is 50% chance of rain. Could be the greatest of days, or it could all be ruined on a coin flip of sorts. As nice as the moves that the Clippers made this offseason are, they are for naught without convincing DeAndre Jordan to spend the next 3-5 years in the Clippers absolutely hideous new uniforms. The optimist in me says that Paul Pierce's decision was predicated on the Clippers having a firm belief that DeAndre will be back, but like they say, it's not done until the pen hits the paper. Either way, this was the right move, and one that probably occurred one year later than it should have. As Mark Twain once said "If you tell The Truth you won't have to remember anything". That might be good for a player like DeAndre who is prone to having a couple lapses in judgment. Perhaps more appropriately, as Gloria Steinem famously said, "The Truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off". The Clippers could use that attitude in the locker room from a guy that has shown he saves his best for the biggest moments.