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News broke yesterday that Charlotte guard Lance Stephenson had been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes. On the surface, the trade seems risky for the Clippers coming off Stephenson's highly disappointing season under Jordan's Hornets. They didn't give up much to get him though and he could end up being their missing cog. Lance is a superior athlete and when his head's in it he displays a unique combination of ball-handling ability, playmaking, tough perimeter defense and overall versatility for his size.

Just last month, however, multiple sources reported Paul Pierce was interested in the idea of opting out of his Wizards' contract to rejoin Doc Rivers in Los Angeles. What could the Clippers' acquisition of Stephenson mean for Pierce's future? Pierce could go there too with Stephenson being utilized off the bench to spell Chris Paul as a ball-dominant wing. While this is certainly possible, there's been speculation that LeBron could recruit him and Cleveland could be his next stop:

At this point, following Pierce's one-year stint in Brooklyn and now apparent pitstop in Washington, little would be surprising. This one, though, would be unprecedented.

Pierce certainly may be at the point in his career where he will do whatever he must to get a ring. In this case, that just may be characterized as joining LeBron in Cleveland and reassuming the role as a tough veteran who will take the big shots. Celtics fans know the two have had more than their shares of hard-nosed playoff showdowns, and the respect there is exceptionally mutual. A couple years ago, when asked who his biggest rival was, LeBron elected to go with The Truth.

I don't see this happening; it seems too bad to be true. Pierce will likely sign with the Clippers and start in Barnes' old 3 spot. Lance will likely bring energy and toughness off the bench. However, though it pains me to acknowledge it, it isn't unfathomable to see Pierce in Cleveland red next year. The Stephenson deal has made others more sure that Pierce will be a Clipper next season:


It'd be wonderful to see Paul in Celtic green next year. Clipper red wouldn't be awful. Cleveland red would hurt.


Top photo via Brian Babineau, Getty Images
Bottom photo via Jim Rogash, Getty Images

Follow Sam on Twitter @bosgreenroom

Sam DuBois 6/16/2015 08:13:00 PM Edit
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