|Irish Coffee: Top 18 coaches to replace Doc Rivers in Celtics search for Banner 18||06.24.13 at 8:00 am ET|
The Celtics and Clippers have reportedly reached a deal that will allow Doc Rivers to coach in L.A. next season in exchange for a unprotected first-round pick in the 2015 NBA draft, pending league approval. So, the search begins to replace a coach that finished only 11 victories shy of tying Tommy Heinsohn for second behind Red Auerbach on the franchise’s wins list. Here are 18 candidates to lead the C’s to an 18th banner.
18. Kevin Garnett: Whether tongue-in-cheek or not, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle threw this one out there, suggesting Garnett could follow Rivers as a player-coach the way Bill Russell did Auerbach, but the advanced statistics, strategy and amount of game planning in today’s NBA make it a pipe dream.
17. Larry Bird: If the Celtics legend showed interest in the GM position for the Kings, what’s to say he wouldn’t consider a coaching position in the organization he resurrected as a player? Well, for one, he’d have to accept a scenario in which he answered to C’s president Danny Ainge, and secondly, he would command big money.
16. Byron Scott: Considering Scott appeared to be the Clippers’ fall-back option if they couldn’t get a deal done for Rivers, he’s a leading candidate among the NBA coaching retreads. However, the former Lakers standout has maintained a disdain for Boston in his coaching career, and the feeling is probably mutual.
|Report: Celtics finally send Doc Rivers to Clippers||06.23.13 at 6:45 pm ET|
The Clippers will send an unprotected first-round pick in the 2015 NBA draft to the C’s in exchange for releasing Rivers from the three years and $21 million remaining on his contract, per Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski. Rivers will reportedly receive the same deal to coach in Los Angeles.
Rivers and Celtics president Danny Ainge have tentatively scheduled a noon press conference on Monday, at which point the two are expected to explain the drama that led to their breakup after nine seasons together.
According to MacMullan, Rivers and Ainge worked side-by-side to reach a deal with the Clippers that benefits both the Celtics and Doc’s desire to avoid a lengthy rebuilding process. C’s ownership also reportedly was not wild about paying Rivers $7 million annually to coach a rebuilding team.
Talks between the C’s and Clippers were dubbed dead several times this past week — once when the NBA refused to allow a deal involving Rivers and any package of players, and then again when the Clippers insisted upon not sending anything beyond a second-round pick in exchange for Rivers.
However, discussion between the two sides heated up again on Sunday, when Chris Paul pressured L.A. to concede in sending a first-round selection to Boston, according to reports from Yahoo! and The Boston Globe.
Considering NBA commissioner David Stern‘s recent comments, another deal that would have sent Kevin Garnett to the Clippers in exchange for DeAndre Jordan and another first-round pick still appears dead. After a week of highly publicized negotiations involving the two teams, it will be nearly impossible for Ainge to convince the league office that a deal involving Garnett isn’t linked to the proposed Rivers deal.
Still, Ainge is seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Paul Pierce, according to MacMullan, and The Globe relayed “better-than-average interest” in the 35-year-old Celtics captain. The C’s would also reportedly be open to picking up Pierce’s $15.3 million option for next season and shopping him at the trade deadline.
Meanwhile, Garnett has two years and $24.4 million left on his deal, and his no-trade clause further limits Ainge’s options in finding another destination outside Los Angeles for his 37-year-old center.
|Bill Russell: The Heat won two straight titles? Yawn||06.21.13 at 9:53 am ET|
Granted, Russell’s career Game 7 record is 10-0, so he’s the only man alive allowed to grow tired of an epic finale to a glorious Heat-Spurs series. That includes you, two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh. Yawn, indeed.
|Reports: NBA questioning Celtics-Clippers trade||06.20.13 at 1:42 pm ET|
The NBA is questioning the connection between the Celtics trading Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and then relinquishing the rights to Doc Rivers in exchange for two first-round picks from the Clippers, as first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein. The league’s guidelines state player deals cannot be contingent upon coaching contracts.
Meanwhile, the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy contradicted two previous reports, claiming a) Celtics president Danny Ainge reached out to Los Angeles after Tuesday’s stalled talks, and b) the Clippers did not present owner Donald Sterling with a package that would have sent Jordan and two No. 1 picks to Boston for Garnett and Rivers.
|DeAndre Jordan: ‘I’d be happy’ to play for Celtics||06.20.13 at 1:02 pm ET|
As trade rumors continue to fly, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is trying to block out the noise, but the 24-year-old admitted on Yahoo! Sports Radio he’d be “happy” to stay in Los Angeles or join the Celtics.
‘If I was younger, I probably would have handled it a little differently, but with me just finishing my fifth year I know that it is a business, teams want to win and they’re only looking out for their best interest,” said Jordan, who averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds last season. “I’ve been with the Clippers my whole career. All I know is Los Angeles and the Clippers organization, but if I was to go somewhere else, if it did happen, I’d still be playing basketball — the sport that I love — so I’d be happy and just try to make the best of the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted that the deal Clippers management took to owner Donald Sterling for approval — trading Jordan to the Celtics for Kevin Garnett and acquiring the rights to hire Doc Rivers in exchange for two first-round draft picks — is hitting yet another snag due to the legality of linking the two transactions under the NBA’s guidelines. The two sides have reportedly already begun discussing additional scenarios.
‘You hear stuff from your friends, media, things like that, so I just try not to listen to it,” added Jordan. “I don’t really watch it or read into it at all. I’m really just focused on getting better this summer and just preparing for next season.
‘I’m just really in the gym working out with a couple of my teammates and some other guys, just trying to get better and stay focused. I’ve got a couple things this summer that I’m focused on, and I’m just trying to get better and come out and have a better season than we did this year.’
|Report: Celtics, Clippers resume trade talks again||06.19.13 at 6:16 pm ET|
As first suggested by SportsCity.com’s Mark Heisler on Wednesday morning, the Celtics and Clippers hoped to resume discussion about a potential deal for Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers prior to the NBA draft on June 27.
As it turns out, the Clips reached out to the C’s on Thursday afternoon in order to reopen their dialogue about a package that would send DeAndre Jordan to Boston, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers reached out to the Celtics this afternoon to resume dialogue on a possible deal, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 19, 2013
According to various reports, most notably from Wojnarowski, discussion heated up this weekend but eventually fizzled out on Tuesday after disagreements over the inclusion of Eric Bledsoe, the contracts of Jason Terry and/or Courtney Lee, or a second No. 1 pick in a package that already included Jordan and one first-round pick.
|This is what Doc Rivers said about Boston in April||06.19.13 at 4:05 pm ET|
These questions from Dennis & Callahan came just days after the Boston Marathon bombings — during a period of healing when the NBA offseason was furthest from everyone’s mind — so keep that in mind when reading the following quotes from Celtics coach Doc Rivers, a part-time Back Bay resident expressing his city pride.
Still, Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest report — that “Rivers pushed for the Clippers partnership because of his desire to bypass a rebuilding process with Boston” — somehow cheapen Doc’s sentiment, particularly considering he signed a five-year, $35 million deal knowing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce wouldn’t be on the 2015-16 Celtics.
Does this feel like your town?
“Absolutely. I grew up in Chicago, and that will always be in me. I grew up 18 years there, but I’ve been here nine years. For me, this was it. This is it for me as far as a city. That doesn’t mean someday I won’t get fired or get old or retire and come back like Phil Jackson may do, but this will never get out of you — this city, this place — and I think a lot of people who have been here feel that way.
“You probably don’t appreciate it, because you live here, but I really think a lot of it is because of the passion of the fans. You get engrossed in that. It becomes part of you, and you don’t get that in other places. I’ve coached in one other city, but I’ve played in a lot of other places, and it’s rare. The true passion is what I call it. Anyone joins on when you’re winning. Very few places are in all the time, and this is a city that is in all the time.”