Paul Pierce is apparently preparing to relocate from Boston according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
Danny Ainge spoke a bit on Pierce’s situation with the Boston Celtics a week ago in an interview with WEEI radio in Boston. It sounded like Ainge was finally ready to part ways with Pierce. Pierce also seems to think that his time in Boston is up as well. This reported move Pierce made, according to Gary Washburn, makes it seem like its almost inevitable at this point.
The Celtics would have to buy Pierce’s contract out by June 30 once the new calendar year starts for the season. They can buy him out at $5 million instead of having to pay him at a figure slightly over $15 million to keep him on the team next season.
The Celtics will either trade him or buy his contract out if they choose to part ways with the Celtic legend.
Here’s what Ainge had to say about Pierce:
“Paul’s always battling little things. I think Paul’s healthy, but he played so hard and carried such a heavy load….Paul had a terrific year this year, but in the playoffs, New York did a good job of taking away his strengths and taking advantage of some of our weaknesses. But I thought Paul had a terrific year.”
That statement suggests that Ainge thinks that Pierce’s time with this team is done. He is no longer the team’s best player, but this past season he had to take on the burden that a team’s best player would’ve had to bear.
While I don’t think that’s a fair analysis of Pierce’s last moments as a Celtic, it is valid. This is a flawed team–one that needs to be rebuilt. The Knicks didn’t only take away Pierce’s strengths–they also took away the team’s strengths. They couldn’t score at all and that isn’t an indictment on only Pierce.
At the same time, Danny has to prepare for life after Pierce and Garnett. He has to rebuild this team in a way that it can function even if Rondo isn’t playing. He has one of the best coaches in the league and is looking to move in another direction.
This happens to all great players at some point. They don’t always finish playing for one team–and when they do, the separation can sometimes be ugly. I don’t like the way this situation is being handled, but we all have to accept it. If this is the direction that Ainge feels the team should go in, we have to ride with him.