- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King confirmed that the Los Angeles Clippers reached out about a possible sign-and-trade deal for veteran forward Paul Pierce, but that the team was not interested.
"They made a call and inquired, but there's nothing there at this point that makes sense for us," King said Thursday on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show."
Sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that the Clippers engaged the Nets about the possibility of reuniting Pierce with his former coach, Doc Rivers, in Los Angeles.
Pierce is an unrestricted free agent, and has received interest from several teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Clippers, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
The Clippers could sign Pierce with their $5.3 mid-level exception. But the Nets hold Pierce's Bird Rights, enabling them to offer him more money than any other team.
By facilitating a sign-and-trade, Pierce could get paid more than the mid-level and Brooklyn could get something in return from Los Angeles. The Clippers would have likely included some combination of Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and Reggie Bullock for Pierce, sources said. But it appears that nothing is happening on that front, at least at this juncture.
King said he spoke with Pierce's agent, Jeff Schwartz, on Thursday, and the two sides are in negotiations. The Nets, sources said, would like to re-sign Pierce to a short-term deal worth between $6 million and $8 million per season. Pierce made $15.3 million last season.
"I think we're in the process," King said. "We know the number we want to get to, I think they know the number they want to get to. We're just trying to get to the point where we're all comfortable and I know what we're trying to accomplish, and it's just in the negotiation process. That's all it is. We have the ability to pay him more than everybody else, but we are going to be a little bit more financially responsible at this point in time."
4dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann