Friday, May 3, 2013
Ainge faces 'very hard' decision on Pierce
By Nick Borges
Danny Ainge has to make a call regarding Paul Pierce prior to July 1 and he's fully aware that's it's going to be difficult.
"What's important to understand, yeah, it's going to be hard for fans and everybody else, but as far as what's doing what's best for the Celtics, it's probably going to be very hard, too," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "It's not a no-brainer. It's not like you get a 21-year-old All-Star player, or you get the number one pick in the draft [if you let Pierce go]. Those decisions would not be hard, but I have a feeling the decision is going to be very hard, yeah."
Pirece is set to make $15.33 million next season, but only $5 million is guaranteed at this point. He will have full salary protection for 2013-14 if he's not waived by June 30.
Ainge has three options with Pierce: 1) Keep him beyond June 30; 2) Trade him; and 3) waive him.
Pierce says he's not thinking about his future right now, although he wants to retire a Celtic.
"Paul has given his heart and soul," said Ainge. "... I have no criticism of Paul. I know he's capable of playing even better, and I know he still has a lot of basketball left in him."