A few years ago, the Dallas Mavericks were apparently on the verge of a trade that would have brought Paul Pierce to Dirk Nowitzki’s side. This was confirmed by both Pierce and Mavs owner Mark Cuban. The deal failed at the last second.
Like Chris Mannix in Sports Illustrated reported that Pierce had expressed his desire to trade with the Mavs at a chance meeting with Cuban in Las Vegas in the spring of 2007. The Celtics legend, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend, arguably saw himself as the missing piece of the puzzle for the Mavs.
“I’m in my prime and I see all the guys in the playoffs. That was depressing,” explained Pierce. In the 2006/07 season, the Celts missed the playoffs for the second time in a row, with a record of 24-58, Pierce’s team was even the worst in the Eastern Conference. “I thought this was it for me. I thought I was going.”
Cuban confirmed in a tweet that the Mavs were apparently close to a trade for Pierce. However, according to the Mavs owner, this did not happen until a few years later. “We had a finished deal, a three-team trade. All the teams had agreed on the deal,” wrote Cuban.
However, the third team, which Cuban did not want to betray, backed down shortly before the call to the league office: “They did not know that a first-round pick should go to the Celtics. Ultimately, they decided not to go through with the deal.”
Paul Pierce wins the 2008 title with the Celtics
In the summer of 2007, Pierce finally got the right personnel to attack the championship in Boston. General Manager Danny Ainge arranged trades for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the new Big Three led the Celts to the title in the following season.
Pierce ended up spending 15 of his 19 years with the Association in Boston. In 2013 they parted ways in the notorious Celtics-Nets trade, Pierce then ran for the Nets, Wizards and Clippers before he signed a one-day contract in Boston in 2017 and officially ended his career as Celtic.
In his career, the ten-time All-Star and Finals MVP of 2008 scored the second most points in the history of the Celts franchise. Overall, he put on 19.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in his career.