Paul Pierce will be opting out of his contract with the Celtics and will become an unrestricted free agent. With questions revolving around the new CBA that may take affect after next season, this makes sense for Paul. NBA franchises are losing money and this will likely force a reduction in players’ salaries. If Pierce becomes UFA this off season, he increases his chances of securing a long term deal worth more money.
Pierce opting out may not be an awful thing for the Celtics. The Celtics are right up against the salary cap going into next season. If Ainge renounces the team’s rights to Paul, meaning the Celtics can not sign Paul to an extension, this will free up about $15 million in cap space. With the $15 million, the Celtics can go after some of the younger players from the great 2010 free agent class. And before everyone starts to get excited, there is no way Lebron or DWade are coming to Boston.
I love Pierce. Everyone in Boston loves Pierce. He’s been a loyal soldier and has given it his all for the Boston Celtics. But this is a great opportunity for the organization to get younger with Ray Allen also becoming an UFA tomorrow.
The New Big Three were so much fun to watch. They made it to the Finals twice and won one championship. The New Big Three restored the Celtics franchise. But as painful as it may be to see Pierce and Allen in another uniform, it’s time for the Celtics to break up the Big Three. In the 4th quarter in game 7 against the Lakers, the Big Three had nothing left in the tank. They had given it their all and unfortunately came up a little short. The 2010 playoffs was the last hoorah for the Big Three. Their will to win was so great that they put themselves one quarter away from another championship. I think this was their last opportunity together to win a championship. I don’t see them getting to the Finals next year with the same unit.
In the early 90’s, the Celtics held on to Bird, McHale, Parish with the hopes that the veterans could do damage in the playoffs and bring home another banner. It didn’t happen. Instead, injuries piled up and because they held on to the original Big Three for too long, it took a decade to rebuild. Ainge can not afford to repeat the same mistake. I would love to see either Joe Johnson or Amare Stoudemire in Boston, either one would be a good fit. I like Dirk Nowitski too. Dirk still has a lot of game left even though he entered the league at the same time as Pierce.
The Celtics need to get younger and they have an opportunity to do it now. It’s decision time for Ainge and the Celtics.
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Written by johnw