According to ESPN.com it looks as though Boston's Paul Pierce will be joining the ranks of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, and Dirk Nowitzki as this offseason's most coveted free-agents. However, I don't really think he'll be going anywhere. He has become one of the best Celtics players in team history and it's just hard to imagine him playing for anyone else. I think he's opting out just for the sake of getting a new contract. By opting out, he can now get a 4 year, $96 million contract from the Celtics or a contract from another team for $3 million less.
But let's just suppose he did leave. Obviously, that would be a BIG problem for Boston. Pierce is their leading and primary scorer and at the moment there is no one on the team who could step up and take his place, unless Tony Allen somehow gets really good over the offseason or Marquis Daniels returns to his early Dallas Mavericks form. As such, I'm pretty confident that GM Danny Ainge would do whatever it took to keep Pierce should he actually decide to leave. Or they could replace him with someone via free-agency or trade, but I'm not sure who at the moment.
But where would he go if he did leave? He's from Los Angeles, so it seems like the Clippers would seem the logical place. I've also seen New Jersey as a possibility (see linked story). Whatever the case, whether it's Pierce or any of the other big names, it's going to get very interesting over the next few weeks.
Q&A: Where will top free agents land?
Also, The Onion has been cracking me up for the past few weeks with its wacky takes on the NBA free-agency hoopla. See:
Speculation About Where LeBron Will Play Could End When He Signs Contract
LeBron James Photoshopped Into Cavaliers Jersey For Some Reason
LeBron's Next Team