Paul Pierce beaten in the World Series of Poker, will have to find millions somewhere else

While the NBA world sits in a holding pattern awaiting the future of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce might as well be on another planet. Oh, sure, he’s in Las Vegas, just like James was earlier this week for his camp. But he’s not there for basketball, not there to talk to executives about free agency, not there to watch Summer League. He’s there for an entirely different purpose. Or, at least he was.

Pierce was at the World Series of Poker No-Limit Texas Hold’Em Main Event in Las Vegas, a ten-day event with a grand prize of $10 million. He seemed to be having a pretty good time, per his Twitter account:

And he retweeted this, about free agency:

Unfortunately for Pierce, he’s got to think about free agency now. Pierce busted late on Thursday night, going all-in on two pair (aces and fours) and losing to professional Michael Smith, who had a higher two pair (aces and jacks).

As Pierce shook hands with Smith, the rail chimed in with a few claps before Pierce added, “good run!”

Pierce wins no money from the event, but that shouldn’t bother him much. He’s in the middle of free agency negotiations now, with the Nets reportedly willing to offer him $6-8 million and Pierce wanting closer to the Main Event top prize of $10 million.

The Nets are competing with the Los Angeles Clippers for Pierce’s services. While the Nets can offer him any amount up to his maximum salary, the Clippers are restricted by the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, worth only about $5.3 million in the first year.

If Pierce wants to go to Los Angeles to be closer to his hometown and play with former coach Doc Rivers, he’d either have to take a pay cut or the Nets and Clippers would have to negotiate a sign-and-trade, which doesn’t look likely.