The latest on Paul Pierce's departure from the Nets come from Las Vegas. Doc Rivers in Vegas for the summer league said he wanted Pierce to join him in Los Angeles but because of the Clippers hard cap and the Nets unwillingness to take on more salary in a sign-and-trade, nothing happened ... and Pierce found work in Washington.
"We talked a lot," Rivers told writers covering summer league. "Quite honestly, a sign-and-trade just wasn’t possible for us. That would’ve been great."
Part of the reason, he said, was the Nets big payroll and almost as big luxury tax bill from last year.
"The Nets, they’re in a tough situation because they have so much money. They’re at $100 million, so they can’t take any more salaries, and in a sign-and-trade would mean they’re taking more salary, so they really just can’t do it. We knew it would be hard. We tried every avenue and it just wouldn’t work."
Mannix tweeted Monday that the two sides even tried to engage a third team...
Nets were interested in doing a sign and trade w/Clippers involving Pierce but wanted a third team to take Clips players back, per sources.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 15, 2014
No go. A league source, not associated with either team, said he was mystified the Clippers couldn't make it work. "Obviously the unknown is how badly LAC wanted to make this work," said the source.
Rivers is happy for Pierce and is still likely to go out a winner.
"Paul ends up in Washington, and that’s great for him, but clearly we have a relationship, and he has a relationship with L.A. That’s where he’s from," Rivers told Bontemps. "So that would’ve been great. It just couldn’t happen."
How'd that happen? Zach Lowe reports the departure of Jason Kidd had an effect on him.
"The Wiz didn’t have Paul Pierce in the bag when they drew a line in the sand on [Trevor] Ariza, but they had intel that Pierce would be amenable to moving after the Jason Kidd fiasco, per sources familiar with the situation," Lowe said. "They put on the full-court press, sending Sam Cassell, a former teammate in Boston, to visit Pierce in Vegas [where Pierce was competing in the World Series of Poker], and having Marcin Gortat, John Wall, and others pepper him with texts and calls."
- Doc tried to bring Pierce to LA - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Clippers' Doc Rivers on ownership uncertainty: 'It has hurt us' - Sean Deveney - Sporting News
- How Paul Pierce became a Wizard - Brian Erni - SNY Nets