Paul Pierce: Nets looking to cut costs

Paul Pierce, who ended up signing with the Washington Wizards in free agency, said the Brooklyn Nets did not make him an offer over the summer.

Pierce inked a two-year, $11 million deal which includes a player option for Year 2 with the Wizards.

"Truthfully, I thought I was going to end up back in Brooklyn, with Kevin [Garnett]. I told Kevin, if you're not going to retire, then I probably will come back. But when Brooklyn didn't give me an offer, it was like, I talked to him, and I kind of started looking at my options then," Pierce told NBA.com.

Nets general manager Billy King explained why the team didn't try to retain Pierce in a recent interview with reporters. The team already had several power forwards on its roster and Pierce would've cost an additional $20 million in luxury taxes.

The Nets spent $197 million in payroll and luxury taxes last season, but have cut that number to approximately a projected $130 million going into the season.

"Brooklyn's been, or New Jersey, Brooklyn, they're a franchise that's going in a different direction, I think," Pierce told NBA.com. "They said they wanted to cut costs, they felt like they weren't going to be a contender. Right now, they're kind of in the middle right now. And I really didn't want to be in the middle. I didn't know if they wanted to do a sign-and-trade. I had to make my own destiny. I couldn't put it in the faith of somebody else. And that's when I was like, I'm coming here."

King on Tuesday denied Pierce's claims that the Nets aren't trying to win this season.

"Our goal is still to try to win a championship." King said. "We're not taking steps back or anything like that."

The Nets will miss Pierce's veteran presence, defense and shot-making ability. They are going bigger this season under new coach Lionel Hollins, starting Kevin Garnett at power forward instead of center with 7-footer Brook Lopez coming back from foot and ankle surgery.

The Nets are hoping to replace Pierce's production with the combination of rookie sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic and veterans Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson.