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Paul Pierce wants to play next year, just not sure for the Nets

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Mike Ehrmann

Of course it's tough to take anything said after a season-ending loss, especially like the one the Nets suffered in Game 5 against the Heat, as gospel, but with free agency looming and now 16 seasons in the books for Paul Pierce, there's no certainly that he will return to the Brooklyn Nets after this summer.

How do we know? Well, he was less than committal in his post-game comments on Wednesday night.

The Brooklyn Nets do own Pierce's "Bird Rights," so they can sign him up to the maximum amount allowed by the league per the current CBA. Of course, they're not expected to offer him a max contract, but that only means they have more wiggle room than most teams.

Obviously, Pierce wants to play to compete for a championship, which likely means more than the money at this point in his career. But, that's not to say Pierce is expected to chase a ring and sign for anything less than he feels he's worth.

Purely speculation at this point, of course. But, expect the Nets to sit down and put an offer together for Pierce. Whether or not he accepts it, well, that's something we'll have to wait and see how it plays out.

As for Kevin Garnett, he left the locker room without speaking to reporters.