That could be as soon as this summer, in fact. The Celtics have a $5 million buyout in Pierce’s contract, which becomes guaranteed for more than $15 million if he is still on the roster come July. The team therefore has to decide whether the $10 million savings is worth cutting ties with one of the most decorated players in franchise history. If so, Pierce says he will not hold it against the organization.
“I’ve had a great run here,” Pierce told ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan. “I wouldn’t give any negative backlash to what they feel they need to do to help their franchise. I still feel I have a couple of good years to play. If it’s for someone [other team], then so be it.”
Pierce, 35, has rounded out his game since season-ending injuries to Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger created weaknesses for the Celtics in the playmaking and rebounding departments. He is averaging 18.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. The rebounding average is his highest in seven years, and his assist average is one-tenth of an assist off his career high.