Sources close to the process told ESPN.com on Saturday that Pierce has committed to sign a two-year, $11 million deal with the Wizards, who moved swiftly to find a title-tested replacement for Trevor Ariza after Ariza struck an agreement earlier in the day to join the Houston Rockets.
The contract, sources said, has a player option after this season that will allow Pierce, 36, to return to free agency next summer if he chooses.
The short-term nature of the deal, meanwhile, could help Washington preserve some flexibility for its dream scenario of pursuing DC native Kevin Durant when the current Oklahoma City Thunder star is scheduled to be a free agent in the summer of 2016.
Pierce, a 10-time All-Star, took to Twitter early Sunday morning.
Obama , J Wall here I come
- Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 13, 2014Wizards point guard John Wall tweeted:
Welcome the truth @paulpierce34 to Dc...#wizkids !!
- John Wall (@John_Wall) July 13, 2014The Nets gave up a slew of first-round picks to acquire Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics in July 2013, but now Pierce and coach Jason Kidd are gone in Brooklyn. Kidd left to become the coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Pierce, an unrestricted free agent, also drew interest from the Dallas Mavericks, the Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers -- among other teams -- before deciding to join the up-and-coming Wizards, who went 44-38 during the 2013-14 regular season before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Pierce averaged 13.5 points in 28.0 minutes per game last season for the Nets, while posting a Player Efficiency Rating of 16.8. All three totals were career-lows.
Sources told ESPNNewYork.com that the Nets elected to pass on signing Pierce, whom they could have matched or paid more than the Wizards since they owned his Bird Rights. Brooklyn now is focusing on developing younger talent at forward, having recently acquired 20-year-old Russian forward Sergey Karasev. The Nets also are expected to sign prospect Bojan Bogdanovic, whom they acquired in a draft-night deal in 2011, for their mini-midlevel exception sometime this week, according to sources.
The Nets, a league source told ESPNNewYork.com, still expect Garnett to return for his final season under contract. He is set to make $12 million.
Garnett, though, has not talked this summer, and it is unclear what he thinks of the departures of Pierce and Kidd.
ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk and Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.
Pierce Deal A Great Move By Wizards
Marc Stein explains why the Wizards set themselves up perfectly by signing Paul Pierce to a two-year deal.