Report: Pierce May Return to Boston if Celtics Get Love


According to ESPN‘s Marc Stein, Kevin Love has opted-out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, when free agency begins.

While this move was to be expected, as Love can still re-sign with the Cavaliers (which he’s suggested he’ll do to this point), it still hasn’t stopped speculators from, once again, connecting the Celtics to Kevin Love. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who is perhaps the most reliable source in basketball-related news, tweeted a brief yet, telling post regarding Pierce:

“Sources: Clips offering bench guys to gain trade exception to pay Pierce, but if Celts could get Love – Pierce is in play for Boston return”.

In just 140 characters, Wojnarowski has said a lot. First off, it appears Paul Pierce won’t be settling for the mini-mid level exception of $3.37 million, which came as a surprise. This will make it difficult for Rivers to sign Pierce as it seems the only way he could create ample cap space would be to trade some of his role players. Unfortunately for Rivers, the supporting cast has VERY little trade value; as Doc’s inability to provide the Clippers with capable role players, has led many to criticize Rivers as a GM. It seemed like Pierce joining the Clippers was a foregone conclusion, however, now it seems the only chance of Pierce joining the Clippers would be if Doc could create a trade exception from trading Jamal Crawford, whose $5.68 million contract is the most movable on the Clips.

In regards to Love, Wojnarowski – who spends much of his time speaking with player agents and GMs – and thus knows what he’s talking about, believes the Celtics to still have a shot at landing Kevin Love. In order for the Celtics to acquire him, Ainge and Stevens would have to entice Love with an alluring sales pitch. What the Celtics have to offer, which Cleveland cannot, is an opportunity for Love to be the number one-option once again.  He’d also, perhaps most importantly, be relieved of his playing-with-LeBron duties.

While the media has been relatively quiet regarding Love and James’ relationship, it was clear from the beginning the two weren’t getting along. After a LeBron James’ sub-tweet, we got a little glimpse into what it’s like to be a teammate of LeBron, and it didn’t look good.  Would Love really want to spend the prime of his career as a number three-option with a star he doesn’t like? Even though he’d likely get to experience another deep-playoff run next season if he was to return, a Boston team with Kevin Love is no pushover in the Eastern Conference.

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The Celtics would surely dominate the Atlantic Division and secure at least a 4th seed by next season’s playoffs. Additionally, the Celtics would instantly become a more attractive free agent destination for stars who value playoff-success over everything else. Above all though, Love would get to be the star of the Boston Celtics. He’d be joining the company of Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Larry Bird and Paul Pierce.

Now onto Pierce: do you think he believes the Celtics could become contenders if they were to acquire Love? It’s clear Pierce is looking to retire with a competitive team, unlike Kobe Bryant (who I’m sure would prefer to, but not determined enough to take a pay-cut). With the Clippers, Pierce would get to reunite with Doc and play alongside top-10 players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, yet here, in Boston, he’d get to once again go to war in the city where his legacy was made. Additionally, it’ll be near-impossible for the Clippers to surmount their local competition in the perpetually-improving Western Conference.

In the Eastern Conference, on a Celtics team with Love and an improving young core, all roads lead to Cleveland, where Pierce has beaten LeBron before, and will be eager to do it again in green.

If the Celtics can use their draft picks to add another star, then Kevin Love coming to Boston becomes more than just a pipe dream; and only then can we bring back the Truth.

How incredibly awesome would it be for Pierce to – not just retire with the Celtics – but contend for another Championship here?