Celtics rumors: Paul Pierce not expected to return

The Boston Celtics are faced with several questions this offseason, specifically pertaining to veteran All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Garnett has indicated that his future is likely tied to Boston's handling of Pierce, and those around the long-time Celtic don't expect him to be back, according to CSN New England.
Here are quotes from CSNNE's Greg Dickerson (via Pro Basketball Talk):

“… I know that the company that Paul Pierce hangs around in, they do not believe – and I don’t think Paul Pierce believes – that he is going to be brought back next year at $15 million. I know for a fact that people around Paul Pierce have pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that he’s played his final game in a Boston Celtics uniform. Again, Paul wants to stay – obviously for $15 million — but he wants to finish his career in a Celtics uniform…. Probably a buyout (rather than a trade)…"
Dickerson went on to add that if Pierce exits, he believes "without a doubt Kevin Garnett is gone." While he could see Pierce and Garnett parting ways with the Celtics, he doesn't expect Doc Rivers to leave to coach another team next year.

The Celtics find themselves in a strange position. If they keep everyone around for one more title run, they probably don't have enough to push the Miami Heat in the East. However, unless they trade everyone -- including Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green -- they aren't likely to be bad enough to garner a top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

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