Pierce hasn't formally decided whether he'll play in 2016-17, but is apparently leaning toward returning to the Clippers, Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reports. Bolch cites a person close to Pierce as his source, suggesting the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer may be interested in making at least one more run at an NBA title. Pierce regressed to career-worst levels across the board in his first season with the Clippers, averaging merely 6.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.1 three-pointers and 1.0 assist across 18.1 minutes per game. The Clippers haven't done much yet this offseason to address their lack of depth at either forward spot, so Pierce could be in line to hold down a rotation gig in 2016-17. He'd likely split minutes with Luc Mbah a Moute and Wesley Johnson, however, limiting the fantasy value of all three players.
Pierce said that he expects to reach a decision on whether or not to retire from the NBA within the next couple of weeks, Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reports. Pierce, who is under contract through the end of the 2017-18 season, regressed considerably in his first campaign with the Clippers in 2015-16, averaging a career-low 6.1 points on 36.3 percent shooting over 18.1 minutes per game. Since he'll turn 39 in October, it's unlikely that Pierce's production will improve much if he elects to stave off retirement, so any decision to return to the Clippers would likely be based on how the team looks from a title contention standpoint. At this stage of his career, the future Hall of Famer's biggest contributions come as a veteran voice in the locker room rather than what he does on the court.
Pierce said Friday night that he's "50-50" on whether he'll retire after this season, ESPN reports. Pierce signed a three-year, $10 million deal with the Clippers last summer, but he endured the worst season of his career at age 38, appearing in 68 games and shooting just 36.3 percent from the field while averaging 6.1 points per game, by far a career-low. Pierce was effective in limited minutes (26.2 per game) last season for the Wizards, but the strain of 18 NBA seasons appeared to take its toll in 2015-16, with Pierce often looking like a shell of himself. The veteran will likely take a few weeks to make a decision, but if does opt to retire, he'll walk away as the NBA's 19th all-time leading scorer while ranking fourth in career three-pointers made behind Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Jason Terry.
Pierce will return to the bench in Friday's matchup with the Trail Blazers. Pierce started at power forward in Game 5 versus the Trail Blacers as head coach Doc Rivers tried to find a remedy for the teams key injuries. However, the Clippers have opted to return to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at the four Friday. Pierce played 21 minutes in Game 5, and should see a similar workload.
Pierce scored no points (0-3 FG, 0-1 3Pt) and added two rebounds and one steal over 10 minutes in Wednesday's 108-98 Game 5 loss to the Trail Blazers. Pierce swapped into the starting five for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at power forward as coach Doc Rivers looked to stack his top unit with more offensive-minded players in the wake of the likely season-ending injuries to Blake Griffin (quad) and Chris Paul (hand), but it didn't really result in a change in the veteran's playing time situation. The veteran ended up accruing three fouls in his 10 minutes and continued to struggle from the field, missing all his shots for the third straight game. Meanwhile, Jeff Green played 37 minutes off the bench and scored 17 points, so it looks like Green rather than Pierce will be the main beneficiary of Griffin's absence.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||75||363||44.3||125||38.1||251||79.9||1103||14.71||25.1|