by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON — The Wizards, with the July 1 start of free agency looming, are growing increasingly optimistic about their odds of retaining Paul Pierce, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Tuesday.

The franchise has remained patient with the 37-year-old since their season ended, and although Pierce is expected to opt-out of his second year with the Wizards, he certainly has looked back on his short time with the team glowingly.

In early June, Pierce talked about how impressed he was with John Wall and Bradley Beal’s love for the game, and how — had Wall not broken his wrist in the playoffs — he really felt they could have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, and maybe further.

All indications point to Pierce returning — somewhere — for his 18th NBA season.

Where might he land? That answer changes depending on who and when you ask.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who has kept in touch with Pierce throughout the offseason, offered some illuminating perspective on this fluid courting process in a radio interview last Friday with 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes Vs. The World.

“You don’t ever know, obviously, until that decision’s made,” he said. “Everything’s been great. End-of-the-year meetings, talking to him here after the season, I think he was really pleased with the situation that he walked into here, what he was able to help with this team, the future of this team and where we’re headed. I think those are all great positives. I feel very confident that we’re gonna be able to have him back in the fold next year.”

Hopefully the Wizards won’t have to wait long for The Truth once free agency begins. Their future depends on it.

[Follow: @ChrisLingebach | @1067TheFanDC]


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