Originally Posted by b1gdon
Pierce is averaging the same thing he has since Garnett and Allen joined the Celtics in 07. In fact, this is probably his best year since 07. I seriously doubt he's going to go from All-Star starter and third best SF in the league to garbage in one year even at his advanced age.
Leonard is a good player and he may even make the all-star game one day, but he's isn't a Hall of Famer playing at the same HOF level Pierce has been playing for the last 6 years.
Pierce is a shooter. He is about average at everything else. Unlike a lot of volume shooters, Pierce has shot with a high percentage for most of his career. This is what made him a star. But his percentage has declined the last two years. His best True Shooting Percentage (which takes into account the effect of free throws and three point shots) was in the 2010-2011 season (62.1%). However, this season he has dropped from a TS% of 62.1% to 55.3%, and last season was only marginally better. Since an average SF has a TS% of 54.0 % this means Pierce is not a lot better than an average PF.
Leonard is not a shooter. He makes his impact by being good at other things. However, his TS% now stands at 61.5%. A mark that Pierce has only exceeded once in his career, the above mentioned 2010-2011 season. Thus, when Leonard shoots it helps the team, when Pierce shoots (now) it does little to help the team since any average shooter could do almost as well.
Paul Pierce's shooting may recover. His TS% has been low in other seasons and he has bounced back the next season. The fact that the best season of his career was season before last indicates there may hopes for his future.
However, this is no argument for a trade in order to help the Spurs now. If the Spurs traded Leonard for Pierce they would be doing the opposite, trading a currently performing Leonard for a reclamation project in Pierce. Given the fact that Leonard is in just his second season and probably has not hit his peak yet, and that Pierce is well past his prime and likely on a downward slide, this idea makes even less sense.
I am willing to bet that if the Spurs were offered a straight swap, Leonard for Pierce, they would not consider it.