And the list of marquee players on the market grows longer. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Boston's Paul Pierce will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.
It seems hard to believe that Pierce will play anywhere other than Boston, since he's done so much for that franchise. However, according to Stein, Pierce will at least listen to other offers.
Pierce's name has scarcely been mentioned in the buildup to the summer 2010 free-agent bonanza because, as with Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, most rival executives believe that the Celtics would never allow the 2008 NBA Finals MVP -- who has maintained for some time that he wants to retire a Celtic -- to leave the only team he's ever known.
Pierce, though, could wind up emerging as one of the more interesting big names to track. Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Pierce will begin free agency by talking first to the Celtics when the market opens at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, but the 32-year-old is preparing to field other offers.
In the end, he probably goes back to the Celtics, but you never know.