I love it when the elite teams have to pay full price and get subjected to the same market forces that challenge the other, also-ran teams in the league. When I went on a Celtics site or two a couple of days ago, wondering about whether the Clips could pry Pierce loose for a deal in the mid-50s for 4 years, a lot of people were saying that Pierce should sign a 3 year deal in the high 30s. Wouldn't that be good for Boston. Yes it would.
So now Pierce has signed, but rather than caving in and taking a team option for the 4th year, Boston is now on the hook to pay Pierce 4 years/60 million. They have the inflated Garnett contract for two more years. And after that is all done, they'll have two more years of Pierce. The funny thing is that when you sign a deal like this you say it's okay, because in the last year or so, when the player is 35-36 and much less productive, it becomes an expiring contract and a nice trade piece. But how does that work when you're trying to make Paul Pierce "Mr. Celtic," who played his entire career there? "Yeah, except for that deal in the 2013 offseason when we sent him to Charlotte, who waived him before the trade deadline. Other than that, he was Mr. Celtic."
Paying Pierce for 4 years made sense for the Clips as a matter of establishing credibility, and going to a place where they've never been. Pierce will help the Celtics chase after something they weren't able to grasp this year. He has two more pretty good years left, but he will decline. Pierce's value elsewhere in the league was greater than what the Celtics could afford. The Celts deserve some credit for paying a guy who has done a great job for the franchise, but this deal will hamper them greatly in trying to rebuild around Rondo, once they're done paying Garnett. Now we'll see about Ray Allen. And we'll see if the Lakers make a mistake and overpay Derek Fisher for his past service, or let him go to a team that will overpay for his playoff experience and record of success.
Interesting, how longtime players for successful franchises have a greater value to other teams. And how making deals with them is very problematic for these successful franchises, moving forward.
Last year I was bummed when there were no teams with cap space and Lamar Odom signed with the Lakers for a major discount. How does LO feel about making Drew Gooden money? Yes, it's three years instead of 5. My bad. I don't think any comparable deals have been signed yet this year, but Rudy Gay and Joe Johnson are making twice as much as LO. But this year the Lakers have signed Steve Blake for real money and should lose some guys, maybe Fisher, and now Boston has paid the market rate for Pierce, creating issues for their future. Cool.
Time to go see what the Boston folk are saying about the deal. Happy now?