Paul Pierce to the Bucks? I'm not counting on it. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Paul Pierce to the Bucks? I’m not counting on it. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Bucks have an interest in Paul Pierce according to ESPN’s Marc Stein:

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams that have expressed trade interest in Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

But sources told that Pierce is most likely headed to neither one of those teams if he leaves the Celtics this week.

Ah, that second line. Most likely, the Bucks would certainly be welcome to adding a player like the 35-year-old Pierce. Despite his advancing age, he’s a capable scorer and he plays a position where the Bucks have badly needed a very good player for quite a few years. Even better, he has the name cache that Milwaukee could sell its fans easily. Think of him as better than Richard Jefferson when he arrived, but still a man who could fall off quickly.

But at what cost would Pierce have to come? The small forward has one year left on his contract at $15,333,334, though it could be bought out for $5 million before June 30 if the Celtics so decide. Given his credentials, still useful skills and expiring contract, Pierce is sure to draw interest from many teams across the league and with the option to cheaply get out of the contract, the Celtics are given even more leverage. Stein goes on to say the Celtics are hoping for a first round pick, which is likely where the Bucks balk.

This is an important summer for Milwaukee, a real opportunity to take the franchise in a number of different directions. Giving up a first round pick that would allow them to select a potentially talented player that would be contractually obligated to the franchise for at least four seasons at an affordable rate to acquire one season of Paul Pierce (at best) is a gamble that doesn’t quite make sense, fiscally or structurally.

There hasn’t been much word on just what the Bucks have offered, but Stein notes the Cavaliers have offered two second round picks. Perhaps the Bucks have attempted to offer a second round pick and one of the many serviceable young players on its roster, a Luc Mbah a Moute or Ekpe Udoh for example. Whatever has been offered, if anything has been offered, hasn’t been enough and, so long as Milwaukee is being reasonable, probably won’t be enough.