Regarded as a tenacious shooter and defender, Paul Pierce is one of the most iconic players in NBA history. Although Pierce spent the majority of his 19-year career with the Boston Celtics, he was able to find moderate success playing with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers. Given the impressive longevity and success Pierce had in the NBA the question becomes how much is the retired superstar actually worth?
Paul Pierce’s Net Worth as of 2017: $70 Million
How did Pierce get there? And how was Pierce able to maintain his impressive abilities to garner this much financial success? Let’s find out.
1998 – 2006
After being selected with the tenth overall pick by the Boston Celtics in 1998 NBA draft, Pierce quickly displayed his impressive abilities as a scorer, underrated defender and most importantly as a clutch asset in late game situations. In 2002, Pierce was the catalyst in leading the Celtics to the playoffs for the first time in seven years. While the Celtics would go on to lose to the New Jersey Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals, Pierce was instrumental in helping his team win the third game of the series. 19 of Pierce’s 28 points came in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Celtics to overcome a 21-point fourth quarter deficit.
Pierce had his best season to date during the 2005-2006 NBA season. He scored 30 points or more in eight straight games (a franchise record) and used his clutch shooting abilities to win two games during the regular season. Hitting buzzer beaters on two separate occasions, Pierce was able to defeat the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers. From February 4 to March 12 of that season, Pierce scored 30 or more points in 13 out of 14 games, the best stretch in Celtics history.
The 2006-2007 NBA season saw Pierce succumb to a stress fracture in his foot. Although Pierce was still a crucial contributor when he played, the Celtics would take a huge step back as they only won 24 games.
2007 – 2013
Coming into the 2007 season, Pierce expressed his excitement when the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. With these newfound pieces, Pierce took the next step in his career by solidifying his defensive skill set. As a result, the Celtics bounced back from a woeful 2006 season by going 66-16 in 2007. Once again, Pierce’s composure was needed to allow the Celtics to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pierce was able to compile a point total of 41 points, the second-highest point total in franchise history in a game seven.
While the Celtics would go on to reach the NBA Finals, Pierce was injured in the third quarter in the first game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite the injury scare, Pierce was able to rejoin his team quickly and scored 15 in the third quarter to lead the Celtics to a victory. From there, Pierce took charge in the NBA Finals and ultimately allowed the Celtics to win the NBA Championship in six games. Pierce was named the NBA Finals MVP after the Celtics dominated the Lakers in a close out Game 6 131-92.
With an NBA Championship, Pierce was determined to help his team repeat during the 2008-2009 season. Despite missing only one game and leading the team in scoring, the Celtics were unable to get past the second round of the playoffs due to a devastating injury to Kevin Garnett.
One year later, the Celtics would once again be in contention to win a second NBA title in three years. Naturally, Pierce would hit an impressive buzzer beater against the Miami Heat to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the first round. The Celtics would go on to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round while eliminating the Orlando Magic in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. As a result, the Celtics once again drew the Los Angeles Lakers as their NBA Finals opponent. While the Celtics were up 3-2 in the series, the Lakers crushed the Celtics in game six. Game seven saw the Celtics uncharacteristically blow a 13-point second half lead, which allowed the Lakers to win their second NBA Championship in a row.
Understandably frustrated, Pierce decided to become a free agent during the 2010 offseason. However, Pierce and the Celtics eventually agreed to a four-year extension.
During the 2010-2011 playoffs, the Celtics once again found themselves in an intriguing matchup against the Miami Heat, this time in the second round. However, the loaded Heat quickly eliminated the Celtics in five games, sending an opportunistic Celtics team home sooner than they would have liked. Unfortunately for Pierce and the Celtics, this would not be the last time the Miami Heat played spoiler to their aspirations of winning another NBA title.
During the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Celtics would go against the Heat for the third year in a row, this time in the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite Pierce nailing a clutch three point shot over Lebron James to give the Celtics a 3-2 series lead, it would not be enough for his team to close out the series. The Celtics dropped the last two games of the series to the Heat.
The consistency of the Celtics success quickly deteriorated during the 2012-2013 season. After losing point guard Rajon Rando for the entire season due to injury, the Celtics struggled mightily to clinch the seventh seed in the NBA playoffs after finishing just one game above .500. In devastating fashion, the Celtics lost to the New York Knicks in the first round in six games. This early exit was due in part to Pierce’s poor shooting from the field (36.8%) and from 3-point range (26.8%).
During the 2013 offseason, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry were traded to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for several first rounds picks and a number of bench players. While Pierce obtained numerous individual accolades (became the fourth active player to score 25,000 points, sixth player in NBA history to score 1,000 points in 15 consecutive seasons), the Nets struggled. However, Pierce and the Nets clinched a playoff berth and dug deep to beat the Toronto Raptors in seven games thanks to a last-second blocked shot by Pierce in game seven. However, after losing to the Miami Heat in five games in the second round, rumors began to circulate of Pierce wanting to depart from the Nets.
2014 – Present
Pierce would eventually sign a two-year, $11 million contract with the Washington Wizards. Once again, Pierce was able to pad his stats to pass Reggie Miller and Alex English for 16th and 15th on the all-time scoring list. Pierce was only able to average 11.9 points per game on the season, a career low.
However, Wizards fans would eventually get a taste of Pierce’s never say die attitude. During the first round in 2015, Pierce calmly made a buzzer-beating two-point shot over three defenders to give the Wizards a 2-1 series lead over the Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, Pierce was unable to ignite his team to a series victory as the Wizards ultimately lost to the Hawks in six games.
Pierce would make one final attempt to join a championship caliber team when he signed a three-year, $10 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. For the first time in his career, Pierce was a role player rather than a starter as he played behind Lance Stephenson at the small forward position. His inaugural 20 games with the Clippers saw Pierce go scoreless in five of those games. While Pierce would go on to accumulate 45,000 minutes of playing time in his career (17th player in NBA history to reach mark), his once coveted abilities as a shooter and defender were declining rapidly.
Despite finishing the season with a 51-31 record during the 2016-2017 season, Pierce and the Clippers failed to get past the Utah Jazz in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Pierce averaged just 11.1 minutes in the series and scored six points in game seven of the series.
Although Pierce was never able to garner another NBA Championship, he was a consummate competitor who gave everything he had to the game of basketball. Without question, Pierce is a future Hall-Of-Famer and will be regarded as once of the most exciting players to watch in NBA history.