I think Paul is still capable of putting up big numbers and earning most of what he wants to get paid. He battled a few injuries last year but was still productive in a system that isn't based on focusing on one star player.
I still get excited about the play early in the year when Paul drove the lane and dunked on Chris Bosh.
I am a big Paul Pierce fan and know that he isn't the same and don't feel he is a max player anymore but I think his value is somewhat understated considering he plays in an offense that runs plays for several different players instead of one.
What if the Clippers offer him 4/$60? I love Paul Pierce, too, but do I want the C's to be paying him $15M in four years' time? Paul's still a [dang] good player, but he's absolutely a step behind the guys who are worth getting max contracts. I know he's been injured, but that's a simple byproduct of how many games he's played, how many minutes he's played over the years; dude's been a warrior, and it's catching up to him.
I want the C's to take another run next season, but not if it means we can't start rebuilding until 2014.
EDIT: To a degree, I think Paul has been accepting of the mortality in his game. We saw in the playoffs, especially against Cleveland, how he was keyed in on the defensive end, even as his scoring sputtered.
But, defensive guys aren't worth $15M/per.
The decline in Pierce's rebounding (dude used to be the best rebounding SF in the game), that as well I think you can attribute to Paul's losing a step. He's never appeared uber-athletic, but he seems to have more trouble getting into the lane. Used to get 10 free throws a game; now, more like six.
Again, some of that is him being slowed by injury... but that's 100% expected, given the wear and tear on Paul's body.
Can I blame O'bie for riding he and 'Toine into the ground?