Since there is only so much time that one can spend as a professional basketball player, it can be really hard for guys to walk away from the NBA. According to NBC Sports, Paul Pierce is leaning towards playing another season with the Los Angeles Clippers instead of heading off towards retirement.
At 38 years of age, Paul Pierce is going to have a hard time finding an NBA team that is willing to give him a ton of minutes. The Los Angeles Clippers would love for the 6-foot-7 small forward to return to the team, but they will only do so if Pierce is willing to continue accepting a reduced role in the rotation.
At this stage in his NBA career, Paul Pierce is most valuable as a mentor to teammates. He already has an NBA Championship under his belt, and he has won plenty of awards throughout his career. Pierce is also valuable as a potential game winner towards the end of games, but not as frequently as he used to be.
Interestingly enough, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the oldest roster in the NBA. LeBron James apparently likes having veterans around because he feels that they give him the best chance at winning a championship. Second on the list are the Los Angeles Clippers, who will definitely be older with Paul Pierce returning.
For the majority of his career in the NBA, Paul Pierce was the starting small forward for the Boston Celtics. He also played that role for the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets. However, now that he is not the athlete that he used to be, Pierce is expected to get most of his minutes as a small ball power forward.
Fortunately for the Los Angeles Clippers, they have one of the best power forwards in the NBA in Blake Griffin. The 6-foot-10 Oklahoma native should be able to provide at least 30 minutes of quality play per night for the Clippers. That does not leave a whole lot of minutes left for Paul Pierce.
Another person that might prevent Paul Pierce from getting much playing time at power forward is Brandon Bass, who was signed in free agency earlier this summer. Bass does not have the resume that Pierce does, but Bass is also just 31 years old. He is expected to be the primary backup behind Blake Griffin.
One of the main reasons why Paul Pierce decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers during his final few years in the NBA is because of his relationship with Doc Rivers. The two of them formed a special bond while winning a championship with the Boston Celtics. Pierce will more than likely talk to Rivers before deciding on his future.
The departure of Jeff Green might make a difference in what Paul Pierce decides to do. The Los Angeles Clippers were hoping that Green would have been able to secure the starting small forward position. However, his inconsistency remained. Green ended up leaving for the Orlando Magic in free agency.
Since they would much rather have Paul Pierce coming off the bench, the Los Angeles Clippers will decide between Wesley Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute as their starting small forward. Neither guy is viewed as a long-term solution for the Clippers, but they are the best options available at the moment.
Fueled by what he feels was a snub during the NBA Draft, Paul Pierce turned himself into one of the best players that the league has ever seen. If he walked away now, he would certainly be a strong candidate to be inducted into the hall of fame. However, Pierce might not feel that he’s done with basketball just yet.
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