If Father Time is a friend of the San Antonio Spurs, he’s the arch enemy of Paul Pierce’s. The 10-time All Star has been getting his way in the league with every slow spin move, lead-footed drive to the rim and grandfatherly pull-up jumper.
In a league where athleticism can be the primary catalyst for popularity, Pierce has earned his notoriety in many other ways, ways that continue to make him a highly coveted player. He’s constantly mentioned as one of the league’s best wings and pursued by a number of teams, most notably the Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers don’t mind adding a 36-year-old to their starting lineup, in fact it seems they prefer it. Originally reported by ESPN, the Clippers are interested in a sign-and-trade situation with the New Jersey Nets for Pierce, after adding Spencer Hawes and filling their biggest need for a backup big man.
The Clippers have offered a sign-and-trade situation involving some combination of forwards Matt Barnes, Jared Dudley and second-year wing Reggie Bullock. However, general manager Billy King of the Nets has been hesitant to make a deal.
If the Clippers can acquire him, It would be a reunion of head coach Doc Rivers and Pierce, who were last together with the Boston Celtics.
The small forward position hasn’t been very productive for the Clippers since Corey Maggette’s stretch with the team between 2000-08. Although Barnes gave them a lift last season after his move to the starting lineup, the Clippers have failed to receive consistent production from the 3 spot.
Pierce can still put up buckets, although upon first glimpse of him running the break you’d think he doesn’t have much left to contribute. However, he’s not the only player who’s been effective well into his late 30s.
Pierce had a good year with the Nets, averaging 13.5 points and 4.6 rebounds. He started 68 games and posted solid numbers under micro-managed minutes primarily due to minor nagging injuries and former Nets head coach Jason Kidd looking to keep him healthy for the postseason.
His shooting has dipped in recent years, but it’s no cause for alarm. He’s still a capable free throw shooter (80 percent) and as has shot 45 percent from the field in his career.