NEW YORK – Paul Pierce realizes tonight could be his final game as a Celtic. His contract has a team option for next season, meaning the Celtics brass could pay him a $5 million buyout and cut ties with their second all-time leading scorer.
Pierce understands that possibility and discussed his future, which will be one of the Celtics’ major topics this summer.
“Truthfully, I haven’t put too much thought into it,” he said at a shootaround in preparation for tonight’s Game 5 against the New York Knicks. “The organization is going to do what they’re going to do. It’s nothing that’s stressing me out. That’s what it is. Every year they’ve got decision to make. Those are their decisions. I leave it to them.”
When asked if it’s different now that he could be part of those offseason decisions, Pierce said: “I always been a guy that’s said things happen for a reason. I was a No. 10 pick, I didn’t anticipate that. I just always feel like throughout my whole career everything is going to fall into the right place for me. I don’t really put much thought into after the season but I know at the end of the day whatever they do, whatever I do, it’s going to fall in the right place for me.”
Pierce said he has no plans of retiring after this season.
“Right now it’s year-by-year,” he said. “I expect to play another year next year and then evaluate after that. I always said I wanted to end my career as a Celtic. But they are the ones (with the decision). I have a year contract for next year but it’s not guaranteed so the decision’s 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 and retire a Celtic.”