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Wyc Grousbeck on D&C: ‘We’re all square’ with Doc Rivers, although ‘it was not our idea’ for him to leave

06.26.13 at 9:37 am ET
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Wyc Grousbeck

Wyc Grousbeck

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about Doc Rivers‘ departure to the Clippers.

Danny Ainge said at a Tuesday press conference that it was Rivers’ idea to leave, dismissing reports that the Celtics initiated the change. Grousbeck concurred and said he’s sorry to see Rivers go.

“I would say a little disappointment,” Grousbeck said. “I’m where Danny was, and he clearly expressed it, which is we thought we’d be here for this five-year term with Doc. He was, as Danny said, he talked to Doc about staying and having longevity. And nine years is a long time, there’s no question. But 12 years is longer. So, we were planning for the long term with Doc because we think he’s one of those foundational guys.

“It was a good run, a couple of [NBA] Finals appearances. But it was not our idea.”

Grousbeck said Rivers’ decision was not shocking, as the parties have been talking for “three or four weeks,” but it was difficult to accept.

“It’s not a bolt out of the blue, it’s an ongoing discussion,” he said. “And it finally got to the point where he said, ‘Maybe it’s time.’ And we, over a period of time, ended up agreeing with him.”

Grousbeck insisted he has no animosity toward Rivers for wanting a different challenge at this stage.

“I talked to Doc the other day. I said, ‘Look, we’re all square. You’ve given us your heart and soul for nine years; we’ve given you a lot of support. I feel great about it. And I took some of your money on the golf course, buddy. So, we’re all good.’

“But I don’t feel he owes us more. I don’t feel he owes us the next three years. I think he’s entitled to take a look at the next three years. And he left in a way and on terms that got us some benefit back. So, I don’t feel misused or that we’re not even. I think we’re even. I just would have been willing to go forward with Doc. And now that we’re not — actually, it’s energized Danny. He’s got a list of coaching candidates — which we’re not going to discuss today. But he’s got a list of guys. He’s got a new spring in his step. And it’s energized Danny to rebuild, which is what’s necessary.”

Added Grousbeck: “I think Doc and we are even. I think those nine years, if you had told me this is how the nine years were going to go when we signed him, I would have been thrilled. I’m very happy with how it went. And we’re even.”

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Read More: Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo, Wyc Grousbeck

Report: Nets reach out to Celtics about Kevin Garnett

06.26.13 at 7:59 am ET
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According to a report in the New York Daily News, Nets general manager Billy King called the Celtics about the availability of Kevin Garnett but has not heard back from Boston.

Garnett, 37, has a no-trade clause in his contract and said last season he would not waive it. However, that was before coach Doc Rivers left. The 15-time NBA All-Star has two years and $24.4 million remaining on his deal. He averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.

The Nets have the 22nd overall pick in Thursday’s draft. They also reportedly are trying to trade guard MarShon Brooks.

Garnett played alongside new Nets coach Jason Kidd on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: French C Rudy Gobert

06.26.13 at 5:52 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Rudy Gobert (AP)

Rudy Gobert, a 7-foot-2 center from France, established NBA combine records with his wingspan and standing reach measurements. (AP)

RUDY GOBERT

Position: Center

Team: Cholet Basket (France)

Age: 20

Height: 7-foot-2

Weight: 238 pounds

Achievements: All-French ProA Honorable Mention (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 8.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 21.4 minutes

What he brings: The first thing that should be noted about Gobert is his freakish height and reach. Gobert’s 7-foot, 8½-inch wingspan and 9-foot, 7-inch standing reach are NBA combine records, and he has the physical tools to be an effective NBA center. That size helps him rebound, as he averaged 9.3 boards per 40 minutes last season.

Gobert can move well, which helps him as an effective pick-and-roll defender. His size makes him effective around his own rim, and he has good instincts as a shot-blocker.

However, Gobert is not a good shooter, and he struggles if he does not finish at the rim. While he is big, he needs to get stronger if he is going to be effective at scoring around the basket in the NBA.

Notes: Gorbert’s father, Rudy Bourgarel, played basketball at Marist College from 1985-88 before playing professionally in France. He played on the 1988 French Olympic team. … Rudy shares an agent with Trail Blazers forward Nicholas Batum, who also is from France.

Recent articles:

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Video: Here is a highlight mix of Gobert.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Rudy Gobert,

Danny Ainge tells his side of the Doc Rivers saga

06.26.13 at 12:39 am ET
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WALTHAM — While he wouldn’t go so far as to say Doc Rivers “quit” on the Celtics, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge expressed his disappointment in the coach’s decision to accept a job with the Clippers.

“Doc is one of the top coaches in the league, so that will be a difficult challenge,” Ainge said in Tuesday’s press conference. “My feelings are: I had planned on Doc being our coach all along. We had discussions about him being a Gregg Popovich, a Jerry Sloan, a Red Auerbach — breaking Red Auerbach’s all-time win record as a Celtic and being here for a long time — so I had never really thought about this day until May 8.”

Ainge scripted a clear timeline of what led to The Indecision this past week, when discussion with the Clippers about compensation for allowing Rivers to walk from the three years and $21 million left on his contract heated and cooled several times. Ultimately, Ainge landed an unprotected 2015 first-round pick for Rivers.

  • May 3: The Celtics lost to the Knicks, and to Ainge’s surprise Rivers expressed concern about returning.
  • May 8: Ainge approached a still hesitant Rivers, who asked what his options might be moving forward.
  • May 9: The Celtics sent Rivers a letter alerting the coach they expected him to fulfill his contract.
  • “In subsequent weeks”: A still uncertain Rivers expressed to Ainge his interest in the Clippers’ opening.

“And even then, it was so early after the season, I didn’t think it was really going to happen until [Monday],” said Ainge. “We really never were close to a deal with the Clippers in spite of the reports, so I think that this is part of the business. I don’t want to get too emotional. Doc’s going to a great situation — a place he chose to go and a place he wants to be. It’s not a place that I chose for him to go or a place that I want him to be.”

Ainge thanked his former coach for nine years of service to the Celtics and admitted, “We don’t have a championship without Doc Rivers in 2008,” but also made it clear that this was very much not his preference.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers

Danny Ainge: ‘We don’t feel any urgency’ to find the next coach as part of busy offseason

06.25.13 at 11:10 pm ET
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Celtics GM Danny Ainge (left) and executive Rich Gotham deliver their side of the Doc Rivers saga to media Tuesday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Celtics GM Danny Ainge (left) and executive Rich Gotham deliver their side of the Doc Rivers saga to media Tuesday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

WALTHAM — On the surface, Danny Ainge wanted everyone to know Tuesday evening that he will not make a panic-driven choice in selecting the replacement to Doc Rivers as head coach of the Celtics.

But deep down the president of basketball operations of the Celtics knows that next month will be a challenging one for him and his staff as they try to juggle finding the right coach with the NBA draft on Thursday with free agency, the Paul Pierce question, the Kevin Garnett dilemma and the Rajon Rondo factor.

That’s a lot for general manager who hasn’t had to search for a head coach in nine seasons.

“I do watch coaches often as I travel around and scout NBA games and college games and so forth, so I do have some people in mind,” Ainge told reporters Tuesday. “But because I haven’t had any contact or really had any consulting with my staff on all of this, I’m not really prepared at this time to address any of those questions.

“The only wrinkle [to our off-season] now is that we need to get a new coaching staff, and we don’t feel any urgency with that. We don’t need a coach before the draft, we don’t need a coach before summer league. We don’t need that to happen fast, so we’ll take our time and look, unless our No. 1 choice makes a quick choice.”

Ainge needs to decide by next Monday if he is going to try and trade Pierce, buy out his $5 million option or have him stay.

Ainge is also reportedly busy consummating a sign-and-trade for Atlanta’s talented but sometimes inconsistent forward Josh Smith.

There’s the question of what to do with Garnett and Rondo. Does Garnett want to even be around in Boston without Rivers and with the franchise facing a rebuild? How will Rondo work out with the next head coach? Are they really pieces Ainge wants to build the future of the team around?

So many questions to be answered in the next several weeks.

One thing Ainge has going for him is a growing supply of picks. The trade of Doc Rivers to the Clippers gives the Celtics an unprotected first-round pick in 2015.

“It’s an unprotected pick. You never know what can happen,” Ainge told the media. “There’s been all sorts of circumstances that have happened in our league. To get an unprotected pick is very difficult to get in our league.” “It’s an unprotected pick. You never know what can happen,” Ainge told the media. “There’s been all sorts of circumstances that have happened in our league. To get an unprotected pick is very difficult to get in our league.”

The Celtics now have eight former first-round draft picks under contract for next season who are all under the age of 28.

And with the Clippers’ first-round pick in the 2015 draft, Boston now has 13 picks over the next five NBA drafts. Six of those picks (their own five, plus L.A.’s) will be in the first round. The C’s also possess two second-round picks in the 2014, 2015 and 2017 NBA Drafts, as well as one second-rounder in 2016. All in all, the Celtics, according to NetsDaily.com, are one of seven NBA teams to own all of their first-round picks in the next six drafts.

So, Ainge has plenty of reason to be grateful to Rivers, one NBA title, another Eastern Conference championship, an appearance in the Eastern finals in 2012 and now an unprotected first-round pick.

Rivers leaves as the third-winningest coach in Celtics history, with 416 regular-season victories. Only Red Auerbach (910-450) and Tommy Heinsohn (427-263) have more wins. Rivers also compiled a 58-46 record in the playoffs.

“We don’t have a championship without Doc Rivers coaching,” said Ainge. “He did an unbelievable job. He has a long history of success with us in the last nine years, and we wish him the best in Los Angeles.

“I don’t think there should be resentment,” Ainge proclaimed. “I know how Boston fans are and all that, but I really don’t feel like there should be resentment. This may be good for everybody. This may be a win-win. Time will tell.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers

Doc Rivers to Clippers official; Celtics to hold press conference at 6:30

06.25.13 at 5:38 pm ET
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The Celtics made the conclusion of a long coaching saga official, announcing that the team had permitted Doc Rivers to walk away from the final three years (and $21 million) of his deal to coach the Clippers in exchange for a future first-round pick. Celtics GM Danny Ainge will address the media in a press conference at the team’s practice facility in Waltham at 6:30 p.m.

According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via twitter), the deal prohibits any player trades between the Celtics and Clippers until after the 2013-14 season — something that would prevent the C’s from dealing Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce directly to the Clippers.

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Gonzaga C Kelly Olynyk

06.25.13 at 5:13 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Kelly Olynyk (AP)

Kelly Olynyk broke out with a stellar 2012-13 season after seeing limited playing time his first two years at Gonzaga and then redshirting as a junior. (AP)

KELLY OLYNYK

Position: Center

School: Gonzaga

Age: 22

Height: 7-foot-0

Weight: 238 pounds

Achievements: All-America first team (2013), West Coast Conference Player of the Year (2013), All-WCC first team (2013), Academic All-America first team (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 blocks

What he brings: Olynyk boasts a well-rounded skill set, with his greatly improved skills in the post making him a threat in 2012-13 for the Bulldogs, despite not being overly athletic. Between his 62.9 percent success rate from the floor and 77.6 free throw shooting percentage, scoring was not a problem for the long-haired redshirt junior.

Most are not as keen on his rebounding and defending abilities. Olynyk registered more than twice as many turnovers (2.4) as he did blocks (1.1) per game this year. Two third of his 7.3 boards per game came at the defensive end. Additionally, some reports half-jokingly give Olynyk credit for being an extremely patient player as well, since he had to wait three seasons to get significant playing time.

Notes: After not seeing much action his first two seasons, Olynyk redshirted in 2011-12 before breaking out this past year, featuring a 63.1 shooting percentage. … He was forced to miss the first three games of the season for violating the school’s code of conduct. … He was a point guard until his junior year of high school and had a seven-inch growth spurt. … The Toronto-born Olynyk moved to Kamloops, British Columbia, when he was young after his father, Ken Olynyk, formerly a coach with Canada’s junior national team, became athletic director at a nearby college.

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Video: Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics, here’s an Olynyk highlight reel.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Kelly Olynyk,
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