Marc Stein of ESPN.com has posted a full story regarding Paul Pierce’s decision to opt out after breaking the news earlier on Twitter. Stein writes that Pierce will seek a multi-year contract and will field offers from multiple NBA teams. The Celtics, however, will get first dibs.
By opting out, Pierce will forfeit next season’s $21.5 million salary but becomes eligible to sign a new four-year deal with the Celtics worth a maximum of $96 million and can receive four-year offers from other teams worth a maximum $93 million.
Sources said that Pierce will begin free agency by talking first to the Celtics when the market opens on Thursday at 12:01 a.m., but the 32-year-old will field other offers.
External interest in Pierce is hard to gauge because there has been so little discussion in recent months about his potential free agency and because of the heavy load he has carried for the Celtics in recent seasons.
While no one wants to see their team’s franchise player opt out, the odds remain significantly better than even that Pierce remains a Celtic going forward. But at what price?