Paul Pierce: Pierce has a unique situation: he joined the Nets in the last year of a contract that paid him just over $15 million, and is now an unrestricted free agent. But the Nets own his full “Bird” rights, meaning they can go over the salary cap to sign him to any contract up to his maximum salary.
Pierce isn’t worth close to the max, even after a few breathtaking playoff moments and a season of consistency, but it helps the Nets that they can match any offer Pierce gets. It all depends on what Pierce wants, which isn’t clear: does he want to return to Boston for a farewell season? Does he want to join forces with Doc Rivers, his former coach, in Los Angeles, which is closer to his hometown?
The Nets would welcome Pierce back (for the right price), given his steady play, willingness to play power forward in their long-ball lineup, and leadership in the locker room.
Final thought: One big issue: Pierce is represented by Jeff Schwartz, who also represents Jason Kidd, who reached new levels of acrimony with Brooklyn in his departure. Pierce was also a Kidd supporter, which may influence his final decision. The Nets will likely retain him at a bit of a premium to convince him to stay.