I heard a rumor that Paul Pierce was sighted in Sacramento earlier today. This was one of those "heard it through the grapevine" rumors. You know, the one where someone heard it from their friend, passed it along to their friend, who then told their spouse, who then told their co-worker, who then told me. The rumor was simply, "Paul Pierce was seen in town today and word is starting to spread that he might be joining the Kings."
Of course, there could be absolutely nothing to this. It could be absolute Maloof droppings (BS). The only thing that I know for sure is that the minute I heard it I immediately had a reaction to it. Honestly, my first reaction was "Maloof droppings!" but then I quickly went into GM mode and then into PI mode.
I think my first response to my "source" was, "Why would he want to play here." Then GM mode kicked in and I started coming up with every reason I could think of that would (and wouldn't) make this rumor make sense from Paul Pierce's and the Kings' point of view. From the Kings' standpoint they do need a SF and Paul Pierce is a SF. The Kings have a brand new ownership group who may be looking to make a big splash in it's first year and Paul Pierce is a name that might do just that. The Kings are desperate to change the culture within the organization and they are in dire need of a veteran leader who can help with that by bringing a winning attitude and the hardware to back up their actions and beliefs.
Once I got through why this might make a little bit of sense for the Kings I quickly switched my mindset to how this would absolutely make no sense for them whatsoever. While I can't say that I knew too much about Paul Pierce's contract (or even if he was still under contract) I did know that he probably made twice as much as any player currently on the Kings. I also knew that he is in his mid to late thirties and that he is not a stranger to injury. I couldn't help but wonder why our new ownership group would entertain blowing most or all of their cap space on such an old player, especially when the Kings are not close to even making the playoffs yet. Would Paul Pierce's possible influence on an attempted culture change be worth that amount of money?
After quickly thinking of all of this I couldn't decide whether I was kind of excited or actually appalled by the possibility of "The Truth" joining the Kings. I then went into PI mode. First of all, who would Paul Pierce be here visiting? The Kings don't even have a GM yet. Would he be here talking to Vivek or Coach Michael Malone? Well, they were both busy with an introductory news conference today but I guess it's possible. Maybe he's just friends with one of the current players and he was really craving a Squeeze with Cheese and he was here for lunch. Was it even him? Like I said, I'm not even sure who originally saw Paul Pierce here in Sac and got this ball rolling. For all I know, it might have been some insurance agent who looks a lot like Paul Pierce.
After I heard the news I had to go online and do some research. I needed to see if there was anyway I could just squash the rumor and end it at me. Unfortunately, after doing a little research, I came to realize that Paul Pierce changing from Boston Green to Sacramento Purple is in the realm of possibilty. Some of the things that I either learned or had confirmed were that: Yes, he's old. 35 to be exact (36 in October). As for his contract, he has one year left at $15.3 million but only $5 millon of that is guaranteed. Therefore, if the Celts were to release him they would be saving $10.3 million in cap space. Here is an article on SI.COM that talks about the possibility/probability that Paul Pierce has played his last game for the Celtics.
So, like I mentioned earlier, this could all be about nothing. This is a rumor that went through at least 4-5 people before it even got to my ears. I don't even know where it got started but I do know that the thought of it got an immediate response from me. I would like to know what you guys think. Would you like/love to have Paul Pierce on the Kings. Is his veteran leadership and the Kings' serious need for a legit SF be worth spending all or most of the their cap space on? Or do you want no part of him?
As for me, if the Kings could get a player of his caliber and influence I'd love it but not if it would take up the majority of their cap space. Maybe a 2 year $16 million contract. Of course $8 million a year to him makes it much less likely that the Kings would be able to sign an all-star caliber player. It doesn't mean that they couldn't add a player like that through trade though. They still have to make big (expensive) decisions on Tyreke and DeMarcus too.
By the way, here are his stats ($16.79 million) from last season: 77 games played, 14.2 FGA, 43.6% FG%, 38.0% 3P%, 6.3 reb, 4.8 ast, 2.8 TOV, 18.6 PPG
Just for fun, here are the same stats for John Salmons ($8.08 million) from last season: 76 games played, 8.1 FGA, 39.9% FG%, 37.1% 3P%, 2.7 reb, 3.0 ast, 1.1 TOV, 8.8 PPG