It’s Not Only About LeBron

Paul Pierce Opts Out

I have to say, I didn’t see this coming. Earlier today, Camp Pierce informed the Celtics that he will be opting out of his contract and joining the Free Agent market. Pierce will forfeit 21.5 million dollars to join the free agency party. This means that Danny Ainge is likely forced into a scenario where he has to choose between keeping Pierce or keeping Ray Allen, both of whom are likely to be looking for long term contracts at or near max levels.

This from ESPN.com/Boston

The move shouldn’t come as too much of a shock … not yet, anyway. It could be in the best interest of both Pierce and the Celtics for him to navigate this channel. Pierce walks away from a guaranteed $21.5 million this season, but sets himself up to make as much as $96 million over the next four seasons. Especially with an uncertain labor situation looming, Pierce’s move could allow him to lock in a deal worth an average of $24 million per season that would take him toward the twilight of his NBA career (he’d be on the backside of 36 when such a four-year deal expired).

If Pierce ultimately re-signs with Boston, this move might also free up a bit of cap space for the cash-strapped Celtics. It should be noted, however, that the savings would appear to be minimal and Pierce’s price tag in the final years of any deal would be prohibitive, particularly if the salary cap doesn’t rise accordingly in the new CBA.

We’ll have to see how this plays out, but wow.

Carmelo Anthony

Just in case you didn’t think things were crazy enough, word from Denver is that the Nuggets are pressing ‘Melo to sign a three year extension. If it doesn’t, the Nuggets may just go ahead and move him now.

With an eye on how megastars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have held the league’s competitive balance in their fickle hands and turned this summer’s free-agency period into a three-ring circus, the Nuggets seem determined not to let Anthony do the same in Denver.

So now, really, ‘Melo is in the mix too. Odds are probably in favor of Anthony signing the extension, but you can’t tell me that the Knicks, Nets, Heat and Mavs (or any other team with trade-able assets) aren’t revisiting their Free Agency boards this morning.

Just throwing this out there, ‘Melo would look pretty good in the new Jazz colors, wouldn’t he?

Be sure to check out the updated Free Agent Board

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~ by djepperson on June 30, 2010.

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