The Washington Wizards wasted no time in replacing small forward Trevor Ariza, who signed with the Houston Rockets earlier in the day, as they announced the signing of future hall of famer Paul Pierce. Pierce will be given the mid-level exception with a player option for the second year of the deal.
Pierce is coming off of his age 36 season with the Brooklyn Nets that saw him post his worst numbers in his career in both minutes, 28.0 per game, and points per game, 13.5. While the move is a direct correlation to Trevor Ariza leaving D.C. this move may have been coming for a while as Pierce has said on countless occasion of how he would love to play with Wizards star guard, John Wall.
Now while the Wizards clearly lose a lot in on ball defense and 3 point shooting with Ariza gone, Pierce will bring a championship pedigree along with the ability to play great team defense as well as efficient scoring with his patented “old man game”.
Pierce is a no doubt first ballot hall of famer when he does go onto retire and he will bring that experience and gamesmanship that comes with that possible honor to the Wizards and will be the first future Hall of Fame player to play in a Wizards uniform since….. yes that’s right Michael Jordan.
Pierce will also bring heart and the will to win to a team where at times during the playoffs it look as if the Wizards where just not good enough to get it done when it came down to the end of games. He also has a rivalry with the new Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James which goes back in the days when Pierce was on the Celtics and James was in his first go around with the Cavs.
However the biggest impact that Pierce may bring to the team may be his tutelage of last year’s number 3 overall pick, Otto Porter Jr. Pierce who has a similar style of play to Porter can hopefully teach the young player into replacing him in the upcoming seasons.
While this deal is a big move for the Wizards it is a low risk for both the of the parties as it gives the Wizards yet another veteran leader and gives Paul Pierce a place to end his career. The one thing that this signing does point to is the Wizards appearing to clear some cap space for the 2016 free agent class that includes hometown superstar, Kevin Durant.