Paul Pierce signs two-year contract with Washington Wizards

Paul Pierce Pierce Paul Pierce signs two-year contract with Washington Wizards Paul Pierce

(Photo/National Basketball Association)

Paul Pierce is a Washington Wizard.

The 10-time All Star and former Boston Celtics legend has agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract with the Wizards at the mid-level exception, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. The deal includes a player option in the second year, so if Pierce wants to move on or retire, he can do so on his own terms.

It also appears that Pierce’s former Celtics teammate Sam Cassell, who is an assistant coach for the Wizards, helped convince him to come to Washington. Cassell was on the Celtics’ 2008 NBA Championship team.

Washington Post writer Michael Lee has the info.

In the Wizards, Pierce joins All Star point guard John Wall amidst a crop of young and talented players. After finishing  44-38 last season –  good for second place behind the Miami Heat in their division, and tied with Pierce’s Brooklyn Nets for the fifth-best record in the East – Washington is a team on the rise.

The Pierce signing comes just hours after the Houston Rockets announced that they had signed former Wizards forward Trevor Ariza to a four-year contract. Ariza had a career year in nearly every statistical category for Washington in 2013-14, but received more money and arguably a better championship-ready contender in Houston.

“The Truth” was a productive player for the Nets and had an explosive first round playoff series where he led the Nets to victory in a grueling 7-game series with the Toronto Raptors. He did, however, establish career lows in most statistical categories after averaging a career-low 28 minutes per game, despite starting in 68 of the 75 games he appeared in.

As of Friday, Pierce still didn’t know where he was going, instead competing in the World Series of Poker and telling reporters, “I don’t even know where I’m going…who knows where I’ll be next year.”

Previous reports indicated that the 36-year-old wanted to reunite with former coach Doc Rivers on his Los Angeles Clippers, but due to salary cap restrictions the deal could not be completed. The former Celtic also drew interest from the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Houston before signing with the Wizards.

His new teammates are already excited. Take a look at what they had to say moments after the deal was announced.

Marcin Gortat – who signed a 5-year, $60 million contract to stay with Washington last week – really seems to be excited about playing with Pierce.

 

Follow Pat on Twitter at @PatBradleyUSCHO

 

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