Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce said the Brooklyn Nets, the team he played for in 2013-14 season, didn't give him an offer when he entered free agency.
Pierce said he originally thought he would end up back in Brooklyn and had told Kevin Garnett he would probably return if Garnett didn't retire. But when the Nets never offered, he began looking at his options.
Pierce ended up signing with the Wizards in July.
From the Q&A:
"Brooklyn's been, or New Jersey, Brooklyn, they're a franchise that's going in a different direction, I think. They said they wanted to cut costs, they felt like they weren't going to be a contender. Right now, they're kind of in the middle right now. And I really didn't want to be in the middle."
When it came to deciding to sign with Washington, Pierce said when he thought about it, he realized the Wizards have potential, despite their loss to the Indiana Pacers in the conference semifinals.
"They probably should have beat Indiana. Everybody thought they should have beat Indiana," said Pierce. "I was like, this is a team that could be in the Eastern Conference finals, or possibly the Finals, based on what's here. And adding me to some of the other veterans they added, I was like, why not?"
Pierce, 36, averaged 13.5 points and 4.6 rebounds last season with Brooklyn.
Over the offseason, Washington also signed forward Kris Humphries and re-signed center Marcin Gortat and forward Drew Gooden.
- Molly Geary