By: Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
WASHINGTON (USA Today) -- The Washington Wizards recovered nicely from their loss of small forward Trevor Ariza on Saturday, agreeing to terms with veteran Paul Pierce on a two-year deal for the team's midlevel salary exception ($5.3 million in the first season).
A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed it to USA TODAY Sports, but spoke on the condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced. Pierce, the 36-year-old who played just one season with the Brooklyn Nets after being traded from the Boston Celtics last summer, has a player option in the second season of the deal.
The Wizards were extremely disappointed by Ariza's decision to sign with the Houston Rockets on a four-year, $32 million deal, but now add the 10-time All-Star who averaged 13.5 points (45.1% shooting overall, 37.3% from three-point range), 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last season. ESPN first reported the deal. Pierce's return to Brooklyn was widely expected until the sudden departure of former Nets coach Jason Kidd, who was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks recently.