The Celtics had until Sunday at midnight to make a decision on Paul Pierce's contract, and NBA source said the club will honor the final year of his deal at $15.3 million to facilitate the blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics are expected to send Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humpries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Kris Joseph and first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 and the right to swap first-round picks in 2017.
While the Celtics may have considered buying out Pierce's contract at $5 million if not for the trade, they will guarantee the deal and send that contract to the Nets. The Nets also guaranteed the final year of Garnett's deal in 2014-15, which was partially guaranteed when he signed the deal with the Celtics last summer.
The transaction won't be official until July 12, the first day Joseph is eligible to be traded. So the Celtics won't be able to comment on the deal despite free agency beginning Sunday at midnight. It is uncertain whether the club will be active. At the very least, they will have the mini mid-level to offer a free agent at $3 million per season.