Boston Celtics rumors 2013: Paul Pierce's family reportedly preparing for relocation from Boston Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) By Jay King, MassLive.com
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on May 16, 2013 at 9:21 PM Email
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Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge maintains that he has not communicated with forward Paul Pierce since the season ended, but reports indicate that Pierce's family and friends continue to believe the 10-time All-Star has played his final game with the Celtics.
According to the Boston Globe, Pierce’s family is already beginning to prepare for relocation from Boston. That comes on the heels of another report earlier this week, from CSNNE sideline reporter Greg Dickerson, stating that the company Pierce hangs out with does not believe the Celtics will keep him for the final season of his contract.
Pierce, 35, has one year left under contract at $15.3 million, but can be bought out for $5 million by June 30. Ainge is also expected to explore the trade market for Pierce, as he has done several times in the recent past.
In probably his most telling comments on the matter to date, Pierce explained during the first round of the playoffs that he'd like to stay in Boston, but knows it ultimately won't be his choice.
"I've always said I want to end my career as a Celtic," he said. "But they're the ones – I have a year contract for next year, but it's not (fully) guaranteed, so the decision is in their hands. But whatever decision they make – maybe if they trade me somewhere, or I end up somewhere else – maybe it could be a situation where I come back for a one-day deal (to retire)."
Ainge told the Boston Herald at the NBA Draft Combine that he still hasn't spoken to either Pierce or Kevin Garnett.
"Look," Ainge said, "we're moving forward no matter what. Right now we're preparing for the draft, and then we'll prepare for free agency. But somewhere along the time, I will have a conversation with Kevin. I don’t know when that will happen. But I want Kevin to take some time and think about it. I'm not making any decisions over the next week, so at some point we'll have that conversation. But we know we have to find ways to get better, and that's the same whether Paul and KG are here or not."
Garnett has indicated that his decision to return to the Celtics next season is strongly tied to Pierce's fate.