Los Angeles Clippers seek sign-and-trade for Paul Pierce

Elsa

Is Paul Pierce coming back? The Clippers have engaged the Nets in talks that would re-unite Pierce with Doc Rivers, reports Ohm Youngmisuk of Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

They write the Clippers are offering the Nets some combination "of Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and last year's first-round pick Reggie Bullock, according to sources," adding "it's possible any trade could expand to more teams as discussions progress."  However, their colleague, Chris Broussard says the Nets are not interested in a deal involving those players.

Shelburne and Youngmisuk did not disclose whether the deal is something Pierce wants, but noted in a revised version of the story, "Rivers, the Clippers' president and coach, has had several conversations with Pierce since he became a free agent July 1."

Shelburne first posted a series of tweets early Thursday suggesting that's the Doc Rivers-coached team wants.

Shelburne added that nothing appears imminent as the Clippers look at bigger free agency targets. Youngmisuk notes as well that talks are "preliminary" and "potential."  The two also suggested that the Nets and Clippers might need to engage another team.

One reason: Broussard threw cold water on the Clippers players mentioned by Shelburne and Youngmisuk.

Earlier Wednesday, Marc Stein suggested the Clippers thought they had a shot at reclaiming Pierce for Rivers.

Who else might the Nets be interested in, if not Dudley, Barnes and Bullock? Reports earler Wednesday indicated Jamal Crawford was being dangled in possible trades.

In a discussion with Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio Wednesday, Billy King was asked about Pierce and he said simply, "We're in the middle of negotiating a deal for him."

Depending on how much the Nets took back in any proposed trade --and what Kevin Garnett did in response -- the Nets could dramatically reduce their payroll and with other moves, possibly get under the luxury tax threshold this season, giving them more flexibility ... and help them avoid the repeater tax.

The Nets could also ask for a draft pick in the deal, something they are known to covet. Counting Draft Night and the Jason Kidd "trade," the Nets have secured five picks since last Thursday, three of which they used in the second round of the Draft.

Ohm Youngmisuk added that the Nets are also revisiting discussions that could get them Jarrett Jack --and possibly other assets-- for Marcus Thornton, saving money this year but costing more in two years.

The Nets are looking for continuity, Billy King has said, but there's also a desire to get younger, more flexible and serious about cutting costs. There's no indications the Nets want to break up their "core" for Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, but it's not certain how they feel about the rest of the roster.

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