Thirty-seven-year-old veteran forward Paul Pierce, who declined his $5.5 million player option with the Washington Wizards recently, is expected to join the Los Angeles Clippers, per NBA.com's David Aldridge.
Paul Pierce is expected to play for the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2015-16 NBA season.
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This was what NBA.com's David Aldridge said in his June 22 video report:
"Washington: As I reported as likely to happen a couple of weeks ago, Paul Pierce will opt out of his Wizards contract. The expectation among many around the league remains Pierce will wind up in L.A. with the Clippers."
According to CBS Sports' Ananth Pandian, should Pierce wind up with the Clippers, he will be reunited with his former head coach with the Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers. What's more is Los Angeles is Pierce's hometown.
Pierce could find himself starting for the Clippers at the small forward spot as Matt Barnes, last season's starter, is now with the Charlotte Hornets. He was part of the package that sent Lance Stephenson to Los Angeles, per CBS Sports.
Pandian says Pierce becoming a Clipper "would be a fitting end to his Hall-of-Fame career."
However, Pierce has also grown close to his Washington Wizards teammates. Even if he has played for them for just one season, he has become a fan favorite in the D.C. area, per Pandian.
He is expected to make his decision sometime next month at the beginning of free agency, per CBS Sports.
The Washington Post's Jorge Castillo broke the news of Pierce playing next season and forgoing his $5.5 million player option for 2015-16 on June 20, making him a free agent.
Castillo stresses Pierce's status as a free agent does not mean he will not return to the Wizards in 2015-16. He can either choose to play for another team or suit up for Washington for a second season.
When Castillo first reported on Pierce's decision to forego his player option, he already mentioned likeliest destination for him would be the Clippers. Because of that team's limited cap fliexibility, all it can offer him is the taxpayer mid-level exception of $3.37 million.
Castillo also reveals Rivers almost signed up Pierce last offseason but decided to give the Clippers' midlevel exception to center Spencer Hawes instead. Hawes, who wasn't much of a factor for the Clippers in 2014-15, was sent to Charlotte along with Barnes for Stephenson earlier this month.
In another development, long-time Clippers television play-by-play man Ralph Lawler will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year, per The Los Angeles Times' Ben Bolch.
Lawler will join the likes of other legendary sports broadcasters such as Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and Bob Miller for the honor, per Bolch.
The 77-year-old Lawler just completed his 36th season behind the Clippers' broadcasting booth. He told The Los Angeles Times two months ago he will return for a 37th year because he's excited about the team's future under new owner Steve Ballmer.
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