Wizards sign Pierce, think Durant in 2016?

VIDEO: Pierce leaves Brooklyn for DC

LAS VEGAS – They’re signing Paul Pierce but thinking Kevin Durant.

If the Washington Wizards’ decision to budgetarily hold the line on Trevor Ariza Saturday didn’t tip their hand on Durant ambitions in the summer of 2016, their move to land Pierce in free agency later in the day sure did.

Signing Pierce to a two-year, $10 million deal, a move reported by multiple outlets, looks like a potentially perfect maneuver to plug the hole in Washington’s starting lineup opened up by Ariza’s departure for the Houston Rockets. The longtime Celtics and one-year Nets star might not have a lot left in the tank – he averaged 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 28 minutes for Brooklyn – but he might not be asked to do too much for the Wizards.

That club’s backcourt, John Wall and Bradley Beal, drive the offense and second-year forward Otto Porter already is being counted on to pick up much of Ariza’s slack. Pierce can ease Porter’s transition – the No. 3 pick in 2013, Porter played sparingly as a rookie – while providing leadership among the youngish team.

The Wizards want Porter to flourish, but that doesn’t mean they won’t keep their options open should Durant decide to weigh his options beyond Oklahoma City in two years. Given LeBron James‘ decision announced Friday to return to Cleveland, fans in Washington and team management might try to pitch Durant – a DC native – on a similar homecoming. As laid out by CSNWashington.com:

But make no mistake, this isn’t conjecture anymore. It’s real. The hiring of David Adkins, who coached Durant in high school, from the University of Maryland’s women’s team as assistant coach to player development for the Wizards this past week isn’t a coincidence.

The building blocks are being put in place now. Ariza is off the books and Porter, who is playing on a rookie scale contract, is a much cheaper option. Nene, who will make $26 million for the next two seasons, will be off the books as well.

So what had been whispered or at least kept to a low roar evolved into some full-blown rumbling Saturday.

45 Comments

  1. TheTruth says:

    It should be enticing for Durant just to play in the eastern conference alone.

  2. Cheng says:

    Nice move….Truth can play as a backup for 2 years, keeping himself in form and waiting for KD. KD, as we know for superstars who are afraid of media and gossip, only has two options in 2016, Obviously, DC is the one for KD, if he wants to go home. OKC has been his second home…but, if he leaves, I think, OKC’s fans can understand, So, DC, prepare a max for him, do not think too much about hometown discount.

  3. rcjur says:

    Getting Pierce at 36 years old is not the answer but a younger athletic potentially great player to be FA Jordan Hamilton would of been a good move for this young team. People also counting on Porter, who the Wiz was crazy to draft and pay silly money too, will never pan out. Don’t get your hopes up too high. As for Durant, he is coming to DC!

  4. rcjur says:

    Piece not for me at 36 years old but a younger FA like Jordan Hamilton would of been nice. As for KD when he’s a FA he is coming to DC!

  5. Phawak says:

    why is everybody always saying that KD should leave because he can’t win with Westbrook as his PG? It’s not about russell. It’s on the coaching staff and the system. You can’t blame westbrook for doing the only thing that their coach knew, and that is letting KD or Russ do something on their offense. KD should leave if Brooks should continue to coach OKC.

  6. nbafan says:

    I can already sense the crazy recruitment Durant will receive in 2016. Sounds like the Rockets want him too.

  7. Klop32 says:

    Russell Westbrook is one of the best all around players in the NBA, Kevin is top 3 scorers of all time, and Ibaka is one of the better shot blockers of all time! Those three are in OKC for good! KD is to loyal to leave, Westbook is the only one they should be worried about!

  8. Ed says:

    Kevin needs to play with a legitimate point guard, sorry but Westbrook is not a good point guard. He reminds me of Iverson a great player but not great enough to win a title. Sorry but as long as Kevin plays with Westbrook , Kevin won’t win any title. Or if a miracle happens that he change his game to a more mature team oriented game.

    • Red Cloak says:

      Westbrook should remind you more of Steve Francis instead of Iverson. Iverson was way more consistent and he was clutch, and you cant neither of those two words up when speaking about Westbrook. Even though KD would be right at home if he went to the Wizards, I doubt he’s on some Lebron stuff thinking about home when it obviously hasnt mattered all this time. Dude is too loyal, and he knows that the Thunder is HIS franchise….he’s not budging.

  9. Yonas Habesh says:

    There are many reports out there that he will be going to Toronto and i believe Washington truly wants to groom Porter and Paul Pierce a player similar in skill to Porter is the perfect mentor. Watch out NBA Durant to the Raptors in 2016 Toronto sure does deserve a winner and with a great young nucleus in place and tons of cap space in 2016 they have all the pieces in place to land there golden boy the one that idealized the team since he was a kid. P.S Sorry Wizards but you still have a great young team on your hand will be competitive and championship-calibre soon enough and be tough to play agaisnt for a very long time

  10. Denise Morales says:

    Kevin should come to NY and join the KNICKS!!!!!

  11. Whom says:

    The day when one of the (if not the) most beloved and loyal players in basketball leaves the team that for all intents and purposes is the close second best team in the league (maybe best while completely healthy, we may never know) it will be a very sad day indeed. The West is just stacked.

    But is it really? In all honesty, Houston’s big gamble and now big flop has made them less of a threat (in theory), Golden State is in flux with a new coach and with management decisions that I don’t quite understand, and Portland has yet to sure up that bench. San Antonio is the obvious favorite, but without that hunger and drive we saw this year will they be able to get over the hump one more time? San Antonio will fall off in the coming years regardless with the eventual loss of Duncan and Manu, Parker a bit more down the road, leaving just the Clippers as the only team I see definitely improving over the next few years (Houston still can, but their decision making is questionable at this point). OKC should be in prime position to take the West for years unless the Clippers can finally mature.

  12. Chaton says:

    I think it will mostly depend on the thunder’s ability to keep progressing, they kept getting closer to a title until the last two years and if they don’t show they have it in them, KD might leave early…

  13. donald holthaus says:

    i always like pierce i hope it works out for him

  14. KD's #1fan says:

    I see the whole DC argument….but I’m a KD fan for life + a Toronto Kid….Toronto has a lot of young talent getting better every season. And not to mention all-star game 2016 is in toronto…hopefully they can push for him early..but who knows…

  15. dj says:

    The possibility of Durant coming to Washington is not a long shot at all they will have the cap space to sign him to close to a max deal he would be leaving one top 10 offense to another solid one lead by one of the best PG in the league and an emerging star at SG also KD pushes defense Washington is one of the better defensive teams in the league and he would also be coming home to play for his hometown he is very loyal to OKC but he is also loyal to Washington,DC I believe if they don’t when a ring by 2016 he’s leaving OKC.

  16. KDfan says:

    The NBA franchises do look and plan into the future, so a move for KD by the Wizards is logical. KD is a well rounded and a grounded professional right from a very young age, and you don’t see humility like his. All credit to “Mama Durant”. KD has made lifelong fans and followers, one of them being me. So begs the question, if OKC doesn’t win in 2015 and/or 2016, will KD leave OKC to go elsewhere? He has the right to leave if the organization does not have the ability (OKC is a small market and hence difficult to recruit good role players) or the cojones to build a team around him and Russ. In my humble opinion, we the OKC fans and KD will part with each other (if the need arises) in a nice way. I wish nothing but the very best for KD, our very own Oklahoma’s Son.

  17. NYC B/K says:

    Yeah I have a feeling Durant is going to toronto ask Kevin Durant he as a desire to play there… But I would love to see him in Brooklyn though… Sorry OKC should’ve stayed in Seattle lol

    • Chris C says:

      How in the world would he end up in Brooklyn, they would have to clear a huge amount of cap space which just doesn’t seem possible, it’s almost as unlikely as the Celtics trading Gerald Wallace without sending a pick with him.

  18. Lakers 4 Life says:

    I love to see both Westbrook and Durant both come to LA but rumors have it and mostly likely pit my money on it that Durant coming to sign with toronto lets just say I have insiders heard it first before espn

  19. Peter Pan says:

    KD was already backing Lebron up when he entered free agency this summer. Saying something along the lines of it’s the normal thing to do ( http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/06/26/on-lebron-opt-out-kd-says-back-off/ ) so I wouldn’t be suprised if he atleast gave the wizards a good look before deciding on his future in the nba.

  20. King says:

    :p KD won’t go to DC he is just too loyal. People will burn his jerseys and that kind of reaction. All the
    Thunder need to do is get Nerlens Noel as a starting center and get Jeremy Lamb to be a 15.00 PPG player.

  21. Scott C says:

    OKC ditches Westbrook and fully implements the San Antonio plan of “Team Is Everything” and KD becomes the new Tim Duncan of the NBA as well as an OKC legend

  22. harrythehawk says:

    Kevin Durant will not stay with the Thunder beyond 2016 if at that point, he hasn’t won a championship. And why should he? OKC didn’t amnesty Perkins, he’s a bum. They keep hanging on to Thabeet, I know he’s only paid 1 million, but he just sits on the bench and does Thunder community service and promotions. I know they are just under the cap, by, they couldn’t even get Gasol to play there, and both he and Westbrook gave him a personal pitch! He looked frustrated at the end of last season and he can’t do it alone! OKC is not an attractive city to play. He should go back home and I will follow him as a fan wherever he goes, even if it’s to play for Fisher in New York (if he’s still a coach by then). Kevin Durant deserves better!!

  23. TheKush says:

    Nice read I didn’t even think of that!

  24. Nope no KD coming to Washington, although I love the kid.
    Folks,
    Wizards Starting lineup in 2016
    PG John Wall age 25 $15.7 mil (1st round pick)
    SG Brad Beal age 23 $14.2 mil (1st round pick)
    SF Otto Porter age 23 $8.5 mil (1st round pick)
    PF Anthony Davis age 23 $14.9 mil (Via free agency) also 1st round pick
    C Marcin Gortat age 32 $11.5 mil (top 5 center in the East)
    Watch out Lebron playoff payback for the beat downs you gave us when we has Arenas, Hughes, and Jamison (The former big 3)
    Wizards NBA Champs 2017, Great job Ernie and Randy! Oh yeah NOT 1,2,3,4…. well you know the rest.

  25. Bu says:

    kinda hard to see PP winds down like this. I was hoping he’ll join a championship contender for last hurah when he retires in 1-2 yrs. Sadly, he’s put in DC as a temp plug to just keep the team for 2 years.

  26. Ed says:

    If OKC doesn’t at least make the finals I could see KD entertaining other options, and I wouldn’t blame him for it, it’s not like he hasn’t tried. Unfortunately his team always seems to sustain an injury at the worst time and playing in the same conference as the Spurs doesn’t help either.

  27. Alex says:

    KD is coming to Toronto in 2016

  28. Scisca says:

    To tell the truth, that’s what big players should do to win championships. Join a good team in free agency, not via trade, so that they make them top teams and don’t gut out the squad with the trade. Can you imagine KD playing with Wall (the second most athletic guard in the league next to Westbrook, but a lot smarter and even faster), Beal (one of the best shooting guards in the league – no comparison in OKC) and Gortat (a skilled big with offensive skills – something KD never had in OKC)? Just add a good PF or resign Nene for cheap and you have a new rivalry in the East – Washington vs Cleveland, Durant vs Lebron. That would be awesome.

    • SN says:

      Yes! Imagine when all of these young talents in both WAS and CLE develop into mature stars. That kind of matchup and rivalry would be great for the sport of basketball!

  29. tertioptus says:

    @Ror It’s because Pierce will be out of there in 2016. Basically he will be an interim star. Hopefully the Wiz will stay in the mix as their youngsters mature. Then in 2016, what’s the recipe for success, “Just add Durant”. “Here’s your watch Paul Pierce, have a happy retirement”.

  30. SK says:

    Sounds like no one read the article, just randomly read the title and decided to comment. Durant was born in D.C. and went to schools in the DC metro area. This article is implying he may follow the steps of LeBron and go to his hometown team. Wizards have been making plans to clear cap space for 2016, hired his hs coach (as stated in the article), etc.

  31. Freddyboy says:

    great moves for Wiz. Big man Gortat no brained to re-sign. Gotta see what u have in Porter & Rice. KD no guarantee, but DC should be a destination city for top free agents & Durant has done a lot in his community. LBJ,s decision to return home can only help Grunfield’s pitch in 2016.

  32. I hope that Durant will make a smart decision & stay at OKC if the Thunder fails to win it next season.

    And why? People will call him a quitter and loser even if he signs for less money elsewhere. Didn’t we see this scenario before with LBJ and Vince Carter? Not to mention how the response was on Reggie when he wanted to leave the Pacers once?

    OKC needs you Kevin. Just stay!

  33. JP says:

    In 2016 I want Durant to be on my Celts, but if he lands in DC, then that team has a legit chance to win it all

  34. Ror says:

    Paul Pierce a selling point when he’ll be 39 in 2016? They’ve made other moves sure but they had a fluke playoff run and played against a Pacers team that was completely lost and in a major funk. They’re a middle of the pack team at the very best next year. Pierce had a few small flashes against the Raps but completely disappeared at times. Because he’s old and his best days are very far behind him. Why would arguably the best offensive player (on the cusp of a championship) go to Washington? Unique article for sure.

  35. Jordan Wilbur says:

    What about the raptors?

  36. Brendon says:

    I’ve been waiting, ever since Steve Francis was moved out of Houston. Lets Go wizards. I Love the sound of this.

  37. RipCity2014 says:

    I don’t see Durant leaving OKC, But it would be interesting to see him take his talents to an Eastern Conference that’s shallow on great teams.

  38. Fefe (Nets) says:

    Wow & I’m sure that KD will have a strong look at the Wizards because he is very involved with his hometown’s community.

    If the Thunder fails to win a championship by 2016, the Wizards will become the favorite to lure him.