- CSNwashington.com - Thursday, July 17, 2014

News broke late Saturday night: Paul Pierce agreed to terms with the Washington Wizards. The idea that the 16-year veteran, NBA champion and future Hall of Famer would chase another ring with a franchise that hasn’t been close to that level since 1979 had the entire NBA muttering, “Wait, what?”

That’s indeed the path Pierce chose and the plan Washington embraced after Trevor Ariza left for the Houston Rockets. The Wizards announced the signing officially on Thursday.

“We are very happy to welcome Paul to our organization and add his championship experience and history of clutch play to our team,” Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement. “He will be a good fit alongside our young, dynamic backcourt while his presence and leadership will make a difference for us both on and off the court.”

Per team policy, terms were not disclosed. It was previously reported that the Wizards used their mid-level exception on Pierce for a two-year contract — with a second year player option — worth around $11 million.

The 10-time All-Star and 18th all-time scorer in NBA history spent last season with the Brooklyn Nets after 15 years as a member of the Boston Celtics. Pierce, 36, owns career averages of 21.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals.

The addition of Pierce is one of many moves by the organization this offseason, but is the one that stands out because of his resume, late-game production and what he represents. Led by the young and productive backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington reached the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last year. Now comes the addition of Pierce, who previously won an NBA title with the Celtics in 2008.

“He’s going to help them all and they’re going to help him,” Jason Kidd, Pierce’s coach in Brooklyn last season, said this week. “When you talk about work ethic, he comes every day early to do his job. He’s been in a lot of battles, classic championships. He’s going to help these guys understand what it takes to win. … They’re going to be one of the top teams in the East.”


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