[icon image=”beer” align=”left”] What’s Brewing: July 1, that’s what. If Paul Pierce is still a member of the Boston Celtics on July 1, then the $15 million kicker takes effect. If Danny Ainge chooses to go in another direction, then he could buy out Pierce’s contract for $5 million before the July 1, 2013 deadline. So, what’s going to happen with Paul? Good question, especially since Pierce has been nothing more than a bit player in the Doc / KG drama. But the fact of the matter is this – the decision that Ainge makes with regard to Pierce will help set the course for either rebuilding or retooling the Boston Celtics. The stakes, clearly, are high. So, let’s reach out to one of our trusted insiders for his take.
[box style=”alert”]Inside Scoop: A Celtics Insider source who is friendly with Ainge feels that Pierce will be on the Celtics roster come July 1, 2013. He sites a number of reasons – Pierce’s stature as resident legend, and Ainge’s distaste with cutting Pierce loose and getting nothing in return. Forget that Pierce has seen his best days as an NBA player, and that he has slowed considerably over the past two seasons. Our insider feels that Pierce will be there on opening night.[/box]
[icon image=”clipboard” align=”left”] Insider’s Take: Okay, we get it. Pierce is a Celtics lifer, not to mention a Celtic For Life. But from where we sit, the time has come to part ways with the aging nucleus and start the reconstruction project while key pieces – Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger – are in the primes. We understand that it will be hard to let Pierce walk, but trust us, it’s in the best interest of the team’s long-term viability. To hang onto Pierce – and to Kevin Garnett – for another year, while trying to rebuild on the fly just isn’t going to work. Ainge has already tried to straddle those two fences and he’s failed to deliver. He needs to realize that he can’t have his cake an eat it to. Time to say goodbye, in our humble opinion. Time to start anew.