BOSTON (AP)—The Boston Celtics have agreed to terms with captain Paul Pierce on a deal that could keep the MVP of their 2008 title run with the team for another four seasons.
The contract was not announced, but it was confirmed to The Associated Press by a Celtics official familiar with the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the free agent signing period does not begin until Thursday.
“Both sides made it clear that staying together was best for the team,” the official said.
Terms of the contract were not immediately available. The Boston Herald, which first reported on the deal, says Pierce would get $61 million over four years, with a mutual option for the fourth year.
This means the C's could go out and sign another effective bench player, or potentially someone bigger once they unload Rasheed Wallace's contract. Good move for them.
Perhaps it was the Noid who should have avoided me.
This deal, and it is a heck of a deal for the Celtics, hinges on a guaranteed fourth year which makes for a very interesting game of chicken between the two parties. On one hand I don't see Paul Pierce having enough in the tank to really be effective for a full four years, on the other he's cutting the Celtics a break by taking a pretty big home town discount to resign Ray Allen and another player to stay competitive.
The obvious answer is you stay loyal to a guy who is being loyal to you, but getting sentimental at the twilights of careers can lead you to contracts like the Red Sox have this year. It's a tough call.
Maybe it depends on what the Celtics having coming in the way of young players in the next 3 or 4 years? If Rondo's good enough to headline a conference contender, that's one thing - but it looks like the current Celtics team revolves around the three veterans. If you end up in rebuilding mode after the Garnett-Allen-Pierce era wraps, that 4th year will be a fat expiring contract, which have been valued commodities lately.
(Of course that's assuming the rules don't change drastically after the new union contract negotiations.)
It will help immensely. Remember, only a very small percentage of players who are under NCAA rules go on to the next level. And many players are from poor families that could never afford a Division I education if not for scholarships.