Sources: Clippers want Paul Pierce
The Los Angeles Clippers have engaged in conversations with the Brooklyn Nets to try to construct a sign-and-trade that would reunite small forward Paul Pierce with Doc Rivers, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Rivers, the Clippers' president and coach, has had several conversations with Pierce since he became a free agent July 1.
And while the Clippers could simply sign Pierce as a free agent using their midlevel exception at $5.3 million, they are interested in pursuing sign-and-trade scenarios that would allow Brooklyn to get something in return for the 10-time All-Star and because the Clippers already have so many small forwards.
Because Brooklyn holds his Bird rights, a sign-and-trade also would allow Pierce -- who made $15.3 million last season -- to sign for more than the midlevel exception.
Sources say that the Clippers' pieces aren't enough at the moment for the Nets, should Brooklyn opt to go the sign-and-trade route. While nothing is imminent, it's possible a potential trade could expand to more teams as discussions progress.
While the Clippers have interest in Pierce, sources said they continue to try to get involved with superstars Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James and are reluctant to make major moves while there is still a chance at landing the two free agents.
Pierce drew interest as soon as free agency began from the Blazers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Mavericks, Rockets and Clippers, sources told ESPN's Marc Stein.
After losing Shaun Livingston -- who agreed to an estimated $16 million, three-year deal with the Warriors in free agency, as reported by Stein -- the Nets are looking into adding another point guard. A league source said the Nets have had discussions about revisiting a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers involving Jarrett Jack for Marcus Thornton. The two teams had talks about a potential deal last month, sources told Stein.
Pierce and Kevin Garnett signed off on a trade to Brooklyn last summer in exchange for three first-round picks that went to Boston. Then-Nets coach Jason Kidd played a role in convincing Garnett to waive his no-trade clause.
Both former Celtics were vocal Kidd supporters this past season, and it remains to be seen how Kidd's departure to Milwaukee this week has affected Pierce's thinking about re-signing with the Nets. All indications before Kidd's exit were that Garnett was planning to return for the final year of his contract, which is worth $12 million.
The Clippers have been somewhat quiet since the start of free agency, meeting with free agents such as Spencer Hawes and Trevor Ariza while making a strong push to retain point guard Darren Collison. That's a function of their limited flexibility and their persistence in trying to get involved with Anthony and James, sources said.
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