Now that the Brooklyn Nets have been eliminated from the postseason by the Miami Heat, there is one question that is on [almost] everyone’s mind:
Will Paul Pierce return to the Boston Celtics?
The Truth is set to become a free agent this offseason, and there is no guarantee that he will re-sign with Brooklyn, even though the Nets do have bird rights on Pierce. meaning they are allowed to offer him more money than any other team competing for him.
For a man who has already earned $180 million over his career, though, the fact that Brooklyn can offer him more money probably does not matter to The Truth. Instead, Pierce’s decision will significantly be affected by the following factors:
1. Whether or not Kevin Garnett (signed through 2014-2015) returns to play for another season;
2. Whether Pierce can find a championship contender willing to acquire his services; and
3. Whether Pierce want to retire as a player on the team that drafted him, the Boston Celtics.
The thinking is that Pierce would not abandon Garnett should KG decide to play for one more season, since it was Pierce who convinced KG to waive his no-trade clause and head to Brooklyn.
Should KG retire, though, I find it hard to believe that Pierce would return to the Nets. Sure, it’s easy to argue that the Nets would have been better equipped to beat the Heat if Brooke Lopez had not suffered a season-ending injury, but even so, there are teams that look far more capable of contending for the Eastern Conference Championship next year than the Nets. If The Truth is looking to end his career with one more ring, Brooklyn just is not going to cut it.
But what if no true championship contenders show an interest or Pierce? Or what if Pierce, knowing the end of his career is fast-approaching, simply wants to find a team that is content to retire with – should the Boston Celtics bring their ex-captain back for one last farewell tour? I cannot deny it: I have always felt that Pierce should have been allowed to retire as a player on the Celtics, and I’m not adverse to giving him another chance to do so, especially since leaving Boston was not his choice. Still, would re-signing him, even to a 1-2 year contract, divert money away from, and thus delay, the current rebuild?
My heart says, “Yes,” but my brain says, “No!” What do you say, Celtics fans – if the chance arose, should sentiment/loyalty or sound business practices win out?