Paul Pierce, Washington Wizards reach agreement
Paul Pierce agreed to a two-year deal with the Wizards late Saturday night, ending his tenure with the Nets after one season following last summer's blockbuster trade that brought him and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.
The deal reportedly is worth $11 million with the second year being a player option, giving the 36-year-old a chance to become a free agent again after next season. Despite holding Pierce's Bird rights, meaning they could pay him more than anyone else could, the Nets declined to match the offer, according to reports.
Wizards star John Wall greeted Pierce by writing on his verified Twitter page: "Welcome the truth @paulpierce34 to Dc . . . #wizkids !!"
And Pierce tweeted "Obama, J Wall here I come.''
Pierce averaged 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.0 turnovers per game for the Nets, shooting 45.1 percent from the field. His departure will give detractors more fuel to criticize the club for giving up three first-round picks to acquire him and Garnett, a move that helped the payroll and luxury tax nearly top $200 million.
Garnett, 38, who’s scheduled to make $12 million next season in the final year of his deal, missed 19 games with back spasms and had career lows in every major statistical category.
Nets general manager Billy King repeatedly has said Garnett remains under contract and that from the conversations they have had, he expects him to return for a 20th season. But now that Garnett’s friend is gone, it’s unclear if that thought process will change.
“KG, if he decides to come back and play, will certainly be in that mix,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said Friday when speaking of his new team’s nucleus of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. “I’m sure if he returns, he’s going to probably be in the best condition of his life, wanting to go out with a bang and on his own terms. That’s what I expect.”
Gasol to Bulls. Pau Gasol announced on his verified Twitter account that he has reached an agreement with the Bulls. "It hasn't been easy," the 7-footer tweeted. "After meditating it a lot I've chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career." The terms of the deal were not immediately clear, and no official announcement was made. -- AP