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Veteran forward Paul Pierce has officially joined the Washington Wizards. Pierce played 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets last summer along with teammate Kevin Garnett.
The deal was reached back on July 13. The Washington Post saw the move as one that proves the Wizards did not want to take a step backwards from last season, when they reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
Pierce, 36, is coming off a season in Brooklyn where he averaged a career low in both points and rebounds. Despite that, the Wizards gave the 2008 Finals MVP the full mid-level exception, which is good for $10.8 million. Pierce will have a player option for his second year.
The 10-time all-star gave a shout out his new teammate, John Wall, and President Barack Obama when the trade was first announced earlier in the week.
Obama , J Wall here I come
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 13, 2014
The Wizards were the surprise of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, as they took care of the Chicago Bulls in five games before losing to the Pacers in the second round.
The Wizards have a solid core of players, which features a promising backcourt with point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal. Pierce brings the type of big game experience that could make the Wizards contenders in a wide open Eastern Conference next season.
Pierce will likely replace Trevor Ariza in the starting lineup, who was part of a three team trade that landed him in Houston, reports Fox Sports. The Wizards received journeyman Melvin Ely and a trade exception in the deal.