The Los Angeles Clippers are looking to upgrade the small forward position, and the Clippers believe they have a "real chance" of nabbing Paul Pierce away from the Brooklyn Nets in the wake of Jason Kidd's departure, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
With Kevin Garnett set to return to Brooklyn for another year, there seemed to be a good chance Pierce would come back with him. But with the unexpected coaching shake-up, perhaps Pierce is more willing to look elsewhere, although Stein says the Nets are still confident he'll be back.
Why this makes sense
Pierce and the Clippers would be an excellent fit. Pierce would be an upgrade at the 3 over Matt Barnes and Jared Dudley, and he would bring plenty of big-time playoff experience to a team that stands to contend in the Western Conference for years to come.
Of course, having the opportunity to once again play for Doc Rivers is also a huge selling point. Pierce and Rivers had a ton of success together in Boston, winning a championship and getting to another NBA Finals.
Why this doesn't make sense
Pierce and the Clippers may make good basketball sense, but Los Angeles is currently limited to offering the $5.305 million mid-level exception. The veteran made over $15 million last season in Brooklyn, so he may not be willing to take such a major pay cut, although some type of pay cut will be in order.
Pierce bolting Garnett and the Nets just because of Kidd's departure may also be a bit far-fetched, as Pierce is much closer to Garnett than Kidd.
The fit between Pierce and the Clippers really does seem perfect, and he may be willing to take less money to join Rivers in Los Angeles. Leaving Garnett would be tough, but the Clippers are a more attractive situation. I give it a 7/10 chance of going down.