Brooklyn Nets free agent Paul Pierce might hit his 37th birthday in October, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have his suitors. Nearly a quarter of the league has contacted Pierce regarding his free agency: the Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Clippers, according to Marc Stein of ESPN:
Blazers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Mavericks, Rockets … teams I'm told called tonight to register interest in Brooklyn's Paul Pierce BESIDES Clips
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2014
This report was as of last night, and it’s possible that more teams have contacted Pierce since then.
The Nets have not made Pierce an offer yet, and Billy King said Tuesday morning that he’s willing to let Pierce’s market set itself before deciding what offer to tender him. Pierce and King had lunch earlier in June to talk about their future, though that future presumably included Jason Kidd.
As for the teams that contacted him, only the Mavericks and Rockets can make him an offer bigger than the taxpayer mid-level exception of $10 million spread over three years. The Bulls can offer him a bigger contract if they decide to amnesty Carlos Boozer, a possibility we looked at earlier this summer.
The Nets own Pierce’s full Bird rights, meaning they can sign him to any contract up to the maximum salary. But the Nets, who spent money in the last year like they’re printing it in the PNY Center and lost it like they were going out of business entirely, plan to reel in their free-spending ways. “We’re not gonna go crazy, but we understand the value that he has for us and the impact and we’d like him back,” King said of Pierce.