Paul Pierce's one season with the Wizards officially came to an end Wednesday, on the first day of free agency, after he rejected their two-year offer to return to the team he led to the cusp of the Eastern Conference finals.
Pierce is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers on a three-year contract, the only competition to land the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer's services. There are five key reasons why Pierce made this move:
- Los Angeles is Pierce's home, and he ideally want to end his career there. He has said 2015-16 will be his 18th and final season but he clearly believes that he can play longer.
- His relationship with Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who was his coach when he won the 2008 NBA championship with the Boston Celtics.
- His relationship with assistant coach Sam Cassell, a former Wizards assistant who was instrumental in getting Pierce to come to Washington on a veteran mid-level deal of $5.5 million last season. Cassell joined the Clippers' staff last summer.
- The eventual re-signing of center DeAndre Jordan. The athletic big man is an unrestricted free agent and if he were on his way out it was unlikely Pierce would've made the change because the Clippers didn't have the cap room to replace him.
- Winning. The Clippers fell apart in the conference semifinals when they had the Houston Rockets down 3-1 in the series. But with Pierce's addition and big-shot ability, he could be enough to get them over the hump. They won 56 regular-season games, 10 more than Washington.