Doc Rivers says if Paul Pierce decides to retire, he'll do so with the Boston Celtics

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The L.A. Clippers are hoping to bounce back next season after injuries curtailed their hopes last term, and with their trio of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan in tact, they will certainly remain contenders in the west.

However, they need to retain some of their key role players if they hope to make a sustained push for the title next year.

The likes of Austin Rivers, JJ Redick and Paul Pierce are vital to the Clippers' hopes, but the latter has been weighing up his options this summer as he considers bringing his 18 years in the league to a close.

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Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers hopes the 2008 Finals MVP decides to play another year at the Staples Center, but he revealed on The Vertical podcast on Thursday that there is a special plan in place if Pierce does decide to call it a day.

"If Paul decides to retire, then we're going to make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic, because that's what he should retire as," Rivers said. "So we have all that in place. We just don't know what he's going to do."

The forward was a loyal servant to the Celtics for 15 years before spending the last three seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and then the Clippers.

He won the NBA title with Boston back in 2008 and was a 10-time All-Star during his tenure there; there is little doubt his best and most memorable years came in a Celtic jersey.

This would continue a trend that Amar'e Stoudemire kicked off this summer when the All-Star center signed with the New York Knicks just so he could retire with them.

Asked whether he thinks Pierce will retire, Rivers indicated that he would have preferred to have known by now, but believes the 38-year-old has earned the breathing space.

Added Rivers: "I think Paul's going back and forth on it, and I want to give him room. I think he deserves it. From a team perspective, you would love that he made his decision eight weeks ago. I think there are certain guys that you just have to give time to, and Paul's one of them."

There's no doubt Pierce is a Hall of Fame calibre player and it would be fitting if the second-leading scorer in Celtics history, behind John Havlicek, retired a Green.

Chris Paul
L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Paul Pierce
Blake Griffin
DeAndre Jordan

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