Doc Rivers And The Clippers Courting?





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The idea of Doc Rivers coaching an All-Star point guard and big man during the 2013-14 NBA season is a given, right?

But will it be Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett … or Chris Paul and Blake Griffin?

Bewildered and confused Boston Celtics fans have to be wondering what the future holds with reports that there could be mutual interest between the Celtics’ coach and the Clippers, per The Los Angeles Times and ESPN.com.

It’s a speculation party that is sure to leave Celtics fans with indigestion as they await the fate of their proud (but clearly rebuilding) team. Rivers left the door ajar at season’s end, saying that he wasn’t sure what was in store with Rondo (knee injury), Garnett (age) and Paul Pierce (age, final year of contract) all in the crosshairs during a huge summer.

The idea of Rivers forgoing the final three years and $21 million of his deal with the Celtics was sparked by a nugget from ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that indicated Rivers is contemplating a change.

While it wouldn’t be a complete shocker, it would confirm rumblings that began in May, when the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs by the New York Knicks. Celtics boss Danny Ainge quieted that chatter early on, but the ensuing coaching carousel that has left the Clippers without a replacement for coach Vinny Del Negro has circled around to this possibility that Rivers could be a potential option, as ESPN.com‘s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne detail here:

Sources told ESPN.com on Thursday that Rivers is highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers in the event that he and the Celtics part company after nine seasons together and one championship in 2008. Sources say the Clippers, meanwhile, would immediately vault Rivers to the top of their list if he became available as they continue a coaching search that, to this point, has focused on Brian Shaw, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.

The Los Angeles Times, citing several NBA executives, reported Wednesday that if Rivers decides he doesn’t want to coach in Boston anymore, the Clippers would be interested in him and he would become their No. 1 choice.

ESPN.com has also learned the Celtics and Clippers — in an offshoot of February’s Kevin Garnett-to-L.A. trade talks — discussed expanded trade scenarios that could have sent both Garnett and close friend Paul Pierce to the Clippers before the league’s Feb. 21 trade deadline.

Sources say those talks, before breaking down, were centered on Boston getting back both prized Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and young center DeAndre Jordan and did not involve Clippers star forward Blake Griffin.

It is not yet known whether the Clippers intend to revive those trade discussions and pursue either Garnett or Pierce — or both — in conjunction with this month’s NBA draft. But one source familiar with the Clippers’ thinking told ESPN.com the club plans to be “very aggressive” and “shake every tree” in terms of upgrading the roster this offseason. Acquiring Garnett or Pierce — or both — would make Rivers even more of a natural coaching target for the Clippers.

If that’s not enough speculation for you, this all comes at a time when the Clippers are in the midst of interviewing Shaw, Scott, Hollins and Nate McMillan.

The Clippers also have to consider that whoever they select needs to be someone who will help them recruit Paul to stick around this summer in free agency. With rumors that Paul and Dwight Howard, this summer’s other marquee free agent prize, have been in contact about teaming up together in the future, the frenzy will kick into overdrive.

Rivers certainly has a history of coaching superstars in those sorts of situations and the respect that comes along with being a championship coach.

It should be noted that Rivers has been courted several times before during his decade-long tenure in Boston and in the end decided to stick with the Celtics. Orlando, where the Rivers family resides, tried to lure him back to Central Florida with an offer to run the Magic’s entire basketball operation. Rivers considered his options, but in the end decided that loyalty to his players and the Celtics outweighed whatever opportunities might have awaited him in Orlando.

It’s unclear right now whether or not he’ll have to make a similar decision about what to do with the Clippers, but that won’t stop the speculation from spreading.

67 Comments

  1. Doc-Stay Green Bro-Doc is the ultimate coach!

  2. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    The OKC Thunder have over 30 Million cap space. If they re-sign Kevin Martin, they will have at least 20 Million cap space.

    This is more than enough to sign Chris Paul and move Westbrook to SG.

    Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are team players and don’t mind sacrificing for the benefit of the team.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Then if they amnesty Kendrick Perkins this summer, they will have plenty to go after another elite free agent, such as Andre Igoudala.

      Can’t wait for July 1st to come to see the moves the Thunder could/should make.

  3. TrueMamba says:

    I don’t care about any of this I just care when Dwight Howard resign with the lakers or we get blake and eric

  4. Number 13 says:

    Bledsoe would be a good pick up, but Deandre Jordan? Clips can keep him. He is a liability late in games.

    I don’t know how I feel about these trade talks. After Rondo went down, the Cs managed to still get to the playoffs without a point guard. All of this seems a bit premature just because the season was cut short because of injuries.

    On the other hand, getting something for KG and PP while they still have some value, seems a logical choice for the Cs front office.

    Just going to have to wait and see how this unfolds.

  5. Gillsy says:

    Why does Danny want Bledsoe so much ok Rondo is out for a while. Is it that he wants him to package in a sign and trade for Josh Smith or someone else.

  6. Bu says:

    I can’t use the reply function here but I wanna reply to some comments to my posting:

    Bledsoe & DJ are both very good players no doubt. But there’re not ones who can uphold the Ubuntu & Defensive culture. They are also not role models & mentors like PP & KG who simply helped build the culture. Green & Sulli can benefit a lot under KG & PP but if they both leave, even if just KG, the Celtics will be completely changed & culture will not be upheld for sure. The Clips hv a nice young nucleus together & would be good to hv veterans to mentor them.

    Rondo clearly has some problems to deal with, but mainly with himself. He must shoot better & keep his emotions in check. He also would not be the best fit with Bledse & DJ without KG & PP.

    Then comes back to my point about this article, which is more like a hunch, rather than Doc is actively talking to another team. Simply no evidence. Also, what about his family & contract?

    Then someone said Doc is overrated by the media, & judge this by no. of championships won. Pl watch how many times the Celtics made plays successfully after timeouts. Pl look at how Doc motivates & keep his team focused. Pl see the lineup changes & injuries he had to deal with in the last 2 yrs & still win games. I doubt if Spolestra can achieve this under the circumstances.

  7. Shawn K says:

    While I think Doc Rivers is a great coach overall and probably would be a good fit coaching the Clippers, I think they need a coach like Brian Shaw to run the team. Shaw is the closest thing to Phil Jackson an NBA team has available, and everyone knows that Phil Jackson is one of the best coaches ever in the NBA with (I believe) the best system to run a team with his Triangle Offense. Shaw studied under Jackson in L.A for years, so Shaw knows Jackson’s Triangle offense inside and out! I think Brian Shaw would be an amazing fit as the Clippers coach!! If he does decide to coach them, I believe the Clippers would be in the NBA Finals, and possibly have a championship in the next 2-3 seasons(depending on Chris Paul). The Clippers are one of my favorite teams in the NBA. If they recruit Brian Shaw as their coach, ill be one happy fan!!!

  8. Romeo says:

    I think Rivers is a good fit for LA just because hes purely a defensive coach. The thing that doesn’t get the Clipps over the hump is their lack of defense. They are a very good offensive team, ill give them that, but defensively they seem confused at times and also give up pretty easily on some plays. I don’t think Del Negro was getting their respect, Rivers demands respect and as you can see from experience the players admire and play hard for him; injuries or no injuries. All the other nonsense is ridiculous but these days you never know, the trades could happen but i doubt KG and The Truth will embark on to LA. I think they are staying and so is Rivers, he seems like the kind of man that takes loyalty seriously and with Rondo back they have a chance, Green did pretty well and in my opinion became a star this season. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves, scoring 30 + on MIA with Lebron guarding him. The Celtics have a roster to make a last run and Rivers has a lot to lose if he leaves (respect) which i doubt he will give up after 9 years and a ring.

  9. cp10 says:

    Leave Doc Rivers Alone!!!

  10. OctoPPus says:

    RONDO AND CHRIS PAUL – guards/pointguards ,
    Garnett – center (w Jordan as back-up)
    JSmith and Blake Griffin – power fowards

    and Doc as coach

    GREAT TEAM !!! – LA CLIPPERS

  11. Doc pleeeeease stay here in Beantown-& i hope The Truth & KG retire here too!

  12. J says:

    its a possibility but i dont think so

  13. glyceman says:

    WHAT’S UP DOC?

  14. Alex says:

    How about Chris Paul with Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard in Boston?

    • truth says:

      Dwight Howard will be in Houston

    • Shawn K says:

      Can’t happen, the Celtics don’t have the cap space so support a line up like that. And I don’t think Dwight can handle the Boston fans. If he ever does something to make them boo him, he will put us through another “Dwight-mare” saga. I don’t think the NBA or the fans can handle another saga from Dwight…

  15. Gillsy says:

    I think Rivers will leave KG will retire and PP will be traded. Josh Smith and Al Jefferson will go to Boston, while Karl will be the new coach.

  16. DGT2 says:

    I am a Celtic fan and can feel the pulse even before they blossom.
    I have said it before and insist again …..Doc is not as best a coach his media friends make him to be . come on, having the opportunity to pioneer the BIG three era and how many titles does did he win in return?.
    truth,KG,Allen will TOP King ,Wade ,bosh any time i’am being neutral here ……..
    I’m not Heat fan but am extremely impressed by Eric Spolestra …..Its pleasure how he treasures his BIG three and adds ammunition with in the Lux tax bracket ……..

    • Shawn K says:

      You clearly haven’t watched NBA this season. So to inform you, Allen isn’t in Boston anymore, he’s in Miami with the real “BIG 3″. And Erick Spoelstra only has one title so far with his “BIG 3″. As of right now, he has NOTHING on Doc rivers.

  17. Lakers fan says:

    I totally agree with celtics being at the bottom (since im a lakers fan) but without Doc, no way Celtics will make the playoffs next year

  18. LS says:

    Sekou’s gossip column.

  19. Alvert Reyes says:

    thats a GREAT decision of the Clips. . . making the Clip Show a GOOD deffensive team if Doc Rivers hired as a HEAD COACH. . .

  20. El Tenidor says:

    Bye bye Boston soon you will be at the bottom of the standings Lol lol lol

    • aaaaaa says:

      Lol with Rondo, Green, Jet, Bradley, and Sullinger they’re still a playoff team with a few more good pieces

  21. AdderCG says:

    So why is George Karl not mentioned for the Clippers job, perfect fit, quick young team with a couple of stars would enable him to go further than with the Nuggets???

  22. Kimmy says:

    This whole topic is very interesting. I believe strongly that Rivers will leave Boston. Why is he interviewing then? So taking it to the next level, wouldn’t it be great if Pierce and Garnett go w/ him? Get rid of Blake Griffin, get Chris Paul to stay, then get Dwight Howard? Oh my goodness!!! But I also like what someone else said, cause I’m really a Hawks fan: get rid of Josh Smith, get Dwight and Chris Paul here to ATL. But I heard Chris and Dwight are being heavily recruited ffrom Houston. If these 2 goons end up together, it will be fun to watch wherever they go!!! The saga continues!!!!!!!!

  23. Doc says:

    im not leavin!

  24. Dionte Christmas says:

    stay loyal, Doc. And here’s hoping KG and Truth will be able to retire in green, they deserve that.

  25. Big Al says:

    Nah, he won’t do it. Rivers has been part of the Lakers’ most bitter rival, and he won’t leave Boston to join LA’s B-Team.

    • Shawn K says:

      L.A’s “B Team”??? ARE YOU SERIOUS??!!!!! Look at the seasons standings. Which team had the better record, the Lakers or the Clippers? Which team won the season series? Which team made the playoffs? Given, ya in the past, the Clippers were the B team in L.A. But with the current roster they have, they are leagues ahead of the Lakers. And its not like the Lakers can buy good free agents cause Kobe takes up half the teams cap space. And with Pau, Nash and the rest of the (at best bench players) that are the Lakers roster, the cant even make decent trades. IF the Lakers want to get back the status of L.A’s A team, they should listen to Mark Cuban. “Amnesty Kobe, Bring back Dwight”. If the Lakers decide to amnesty Kobe(while its incredibly unlikely), they will have the cap space to get good players to buff their roster. But in conclusion, The Clippers are the A-Team of L.A, not the Lakers

      • Big Al says:

        As a matter of fact, I am serious. You are clearly a Laker hater. Just one season of the Clips being better than them doesn’t make them the A-Team. It takes years, even decades of success to be LA’s top team. Purple & Gold have won 16 championships, while the other squad only managed one Pacific Division title, which is hardly anything. While I do agree that Kobe was pretty much by himself this season, it’s a similar case with Chris Paul. Did you see how the Clippers struggled without him? They just couldn’t win. Lobs don’t make champions. Unless they leave Los Angeles, they will never ever eclipse the Lakers no matter how all you detractors put it.

  26. Ryan 209 says:

    Im a clips fan an i like the lakers aswell but i dont think that dwight goin to the clippers for Blake An Bledso is smart for the Clips but is GREAT for the lakers They are the most Athletic players in the nba cp3 IS GOOD BUT i think hes HYPED up way to much an Bledso is a Better Show Maker an Blake is a Monster an if he Goes Harder this year an get in there an has a Vetren player like Kobe an Artest to make him Physicaly An mentally tougher an KOBE teaches so Shots an moves HE will be one of the GREATS. But if he doesnt listen thin he’ll stay the player he is but we all know that wont happen hes only goin to grow better aswell WILL BLESDSO an if they goto Lakers Lob City will Be at the team who once was really Active but if Blake an Bledso gp to Lakers it will bring out the Young Stud tht used to be in Kobe it Will work out ao well the situation will make everone better on Lakers

  27. theholyspectator says:

    who wants to wait around for boston to get back to title mode again? doc aint got time for this, he wants another ring, not spend another few seasons getting his green goons ready to get back into the top of the east. if he goes to clippers, paul aint goin no where lol

  28. Ryan 209 says:

    Blake is young an hes powerful with everyone criticizing him he’ll only get better an without it hes growing to be a Real good team player an once is shototing gets better i think in next couple years he’ll be up there with the greats but all u haters need to think about the record they had with out good Defense there a force to recon with for another 4to5 years an CLIPS did alot better thin most these teams they were in the top 5 so lets see alot these peoples teams do that with all these players now a days being better its hard for people who woldve been the best in the 90s not even get noticed now cause the level of talent now bit keep it up BLAKE I GOT FAITH IN U

  29. Belgium says:

    Trade Butler and Jordan for Garnett and Pierce, Jordan and Butler really sccked in the Memphis series

    • Shawn K says:

      That trade will completely cut out the Clippers Athletic plays, Garnett is old now and cant handle attempting alley-oops every game, the same goes for Pierce. While Butler is no youngster, he’s still more athletic than both Garnett and Pierce. I personally cant see the Clippers even entertaining this trade, let alone actually making it happen.

  30. PDAT says:

    Settle Down….Celtics will be back!!

  31. Jimmy V says:

    If Doc goes, we should ask KG to be player coach.

  32. Kamote says:

    Aww, c’mon man. Please this ain’t be serious. Boston is rebuilding while at the same time being a playoff team. Things would’ve been different in the playoffs if Rondo wasn’t injured and Jared continued his improvement. Sure, its a glaring fact that the C’s lacks offense this year, but that’s not a reason to blow everything up. They have a good young core in Rondo, Bradley, Jared and Green (w/c is actually better than the Spurs young guns D. Green, Kawhi and Tiago). KG, Paul and especially Doc should stay so they could mentor these kids on playing the Unbuntu way. KG and Pierce then retire as Celtics, then they can have the money to spend on another young player with potential.

  33. LOLOLOL says:

    Great….now Doc is gonna leave?

  34. Skerg says:

    CP3 is a BEAST but……… I love Rondo’s game,,,,,

  35. Bu says:

    Sekou, this is a long shot & perhaps you can find other topics that are better to write about.

    First, please explain how Doc’s contract will work out. Then, why would Ainge want to send Garnett & Pierce to Clips for 2 young players for a rebuild like this? Don’t you know that KG is the heart & soul of the Celtics, esp on D & culture?

    Think before you write please.

    • DJones says:

      “…why would Ainge want to send Garnett & Pierce to Clips for 2 young players for a rebuild like this?”

      Seriously? Bringing in talented young players is the whole POINT of a rebuild. Are KG and PP great players? Yes, and there’s a lot of loyalty between them and the Celtics, and rightfully so. But everybody knows they’re on borrowed time at this point in their careers. And if you’re not excited about the prospect of getting DG and Ebled, then you haven’t been paying attention. Those two guys are destined for big things and they’ve got many years ahead of them.

      The only guy in Boston who should be nervous about this suggestion is Rondo, because Bledsoe will be auditioning for his job every time he takes the court, and he is an absolute beast.

      • aaaaaa says:

        Bledsoe won’t be taking Rondo’s job. Trust me. But Rajon would have a field day with DJ, he loves having players that are willing to run with him. Rondo, Green, and Jordan seems like a pretty solid trio, and with Jet, Avery Bradley, and Sullinger on the side, they’re still a pretty big threat.

    • pacer fan says:

      It’s bad for both teams. Bledsoe and DJ are young and proven to be excellent pieces for a championship team. Garnett and Pierce are literally one game away from retirement. I’m not sure about the benefit of pierce, maybe garnett because he’s best friends with Billups, but billups is no guarantee to come back. But i agree, those two are the heart of boston, that would piss off fans big time!

      • yo says:

        If you guys are right, consider also that LAC can buy the last year of contract of Pierce and then wave him to get a huge cap space to get Dwight.
        Still, not knowing how much Blake and CP3 cost, and with more restraining luxury taxes, the Clippers must be mad to think about something like this. Technically speaking, Blake & Dwight together would be awful.

        I personally think that the Clippers are right now (like Brooklyn in the east) too rich and too immature in terms of building a team, while Ainge knows his path.

        I foresee Doc staying to try out a new starting 5 for the Celts with Rondo, Bradley, Green, KG and Sullinger, and then the next year wave everybody and take, listen that, Dwight.
        (well it is actually a personal hope… just sayin).

  36. Unkle Daddy says:

    Stay loyal, Doc. Paul is gonna leave because his running buddy is a one dimensional player. He’s coming to Atlanta with Howard. They’ll resign Smith and put them all beside Horford. It’s got a championship ring to it.

  37. silencio says:

    howard should go to the clippers. get rid of players for howard, griffin and paul.

  38. Leclematus says:

    Why isn’t anybody speaking about Jerry Sloan to the Clippers? Remember Karl Malone + John Stockton ? Griffin + Paul? Looks familiar? Perhaps Jerry Sloan can work on that ailing Clippers’ defense the way he did on the Jazz’s back when they were giving a hard time to his Airness…

    • George says:

      Because Clips want to win a championships and not to be the 2nd or worse every single season.
      No offense, Jerry, but I think you had enough of playing your team for a full decade against one of the best basketball players in NBA history… ;-))

      There are only 2-3 coaches who are able to build a defensive&offensive system to defeat Miami Heat (who will be in NBA finals for couple of next years):
      1. Greg Popovich – probably the best coach in NBA but there may be max 1-2 years left before Tim Duncan retires
      2. Doc Rivers – already proved many times in the East that he knows how to play and defeat Lebron’s teams. Even with injured roster, Celtics were always a great threat to the Heat (and before to Cavs who had superb record during the season)
      3. Tom Thibodeau – regardless their position in the East, this team has always a fair shot to beat Miami, playoffs series with healthy players would also look amazing

      • pacer fan says:

        You left out Phil Jacksons triangle offense, which Brian Shaw knows well. Wait to see what he can do when he gets a head coach position

    • teamgreen says:

      they don’t talk about it that way because blake can’t shoot. LOL!

      • Common Sense says:

        Karl Malone was under 52% for his first 3 years in the NBA, Blake already averages almost 53%. Watch a few games and you’ll see his 15 foot jumper has been consistent all year…Stop listening to Barkleys commentating and start watching the actual games…

  39. NHbleedsGREEN says:

    1st Gay Allen leaves us for the cHEAT and now this wtf?

  40. Gabe says:

    And now Garnet will do his ‘baby’ as he did with Allen and not talk to Rivers either? grow up Garnet!!! for a pretender tough guy you are such a p**y. like when New York eliminated Boston, not even a handshake not a congrats to the players, Idiot!!!

    • Nash fan says:

      lol such hate OUCH! u got a point man.

    • GangstaP says:

      You’re not on the court to make friends. When you lose in a heated playoffs series, you don’t just go and shake the guys hands. You need some time off. All these players are hugging and high fiving in the modern NBA, which is making them weaker because they are building relationships with each other. If KD and LBJ didn’t workout together all summer before last years NBA finals, I feel that KD would have played much harder but it seemed that he was having some trouble. If you become friends, you can’t trash talk and get into your opponents head. Do what you want off the court, but on the court it’s all business. I would prefer not shaking the other teams hands, they got the win, that’s enough for them.

  41. Erlo says:

    Noooooooooooooo!