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Billy King: Los Angeles Clippers have "nothing at this point that makes sense for us"

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Maddie Meyer

Billy King, speaking with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio, confirmed Chris Broussard's comment on ESPN TV earlier Thursday that the Nets have no interest in the package the Clippers offered in a sign-and-trade for Paul Pierce. ESPN.com reported early Thursday morning that the two sides had talked.

"They made a call and inquired, but there's nothing there at this point that makes sense for us," King said Thursday on ESPN NewYork. Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk reported on ESPN.com that the Clippers are offering the Nets some combination "of Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and last year's first-round pick Reggie Bullock."

That King used "at this point" raised eyebrows, suggesting that there may be further negotiations. Shelburne and Youngmisuk noted that "Rivers, the Clippers' president and coach, has had several conversations with Pierce since he became a free agent July 1."

King also said of Pierce that he and Pierce's agent, Jeff Schwartz, have been talking, as recently as Thursday.

"I think we're in the process," King said. "We know the number we want to get to, I think they know the number they want to get to. We're just trying to get to the point where we're all comfortable and I know what we're trying to accomplish, and it's just in the negotiation process. That's all it is. We have the ability to pay him more than everybody else, but we are going to be a little bit more financially responsible at this point in time."

Although King did not say what "financially responsible" means, reports have suggested that the Nets want to offer Pierce between $6 million and $8 million, with league sources saying the offer is likely to be two years at $6 million or one at $8 million.

But two long-time Boston basketball writers, appearing on ESPN Thursday, are convinced Pierce-to-LA will ultimately happen.

Jackie MacMullan on "Around the Horn" said...

"I buy it. this is the worst kept secret in basketball, that Paul Pierce would want to go back with Doc Rivers who once called Pierce ‘a professional scorer.’ Although his minutes were less and he was a year older, he could still fill it up for the Nets."

Bob Ryan on PTI a short time later agreed...

"What’s his allegiance to the Brooklyn Nets? The whole thing didn't work the way they planned it. If he doesn’t go, he’s crazy. He should back with the Clippers. Everything you said. Absolutely, he should go. And they could use him by the way. Will he take less money if he has to? Absolutely positively. No issue."

King again said he expects Kevin Garnett to be back in camp come October. On Lionel Hollins, he noted that hiring him was expedited because of all the research he had done on Hollins last season during that coaching search. He also said Mikhail Prokhorov spoke to Hollins by phone.