|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|
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.’
|Jeff Green: ‘I’m happy for’ Doc Rivers||06.24.13 at 5:20 pm ET|
While admitting he returned to Boston in hopes of playing four years under coach Doc Rivers, Celtics forward Jeff Green told ESPN.com, “I can’t speak for the other guys, but I’m not angry at all. I’m happy for him.”
Green first met Doc while teammates with the coach’s eldest son Jeremiah Rivers at Georgetown University. Green reportedly feels “absolutely no animosity,” but the 26-year-old understands if his teammates harbor ill will after the Celtics released Rivers from the three years and $21 million left on his contract in exchange for a first-round NBA draft pick from the Clippers.
Rivers is reportedly still in the process of reaching terms on a similar deal with Los Angeles. Green knows the NBA business well, having been a pawn in the C’s Kendrick Perkins trade to the Thunder two years ago.
‘The main reason I came back to Boston was because of Doc, but I understand things change,” Green added. “Not everything goes as planned. We had injuries, and some other things, that altered our team. You can’t predict the future. I really enjoyed playing for Doc. We have a great relationship. I’m sure some people will feel betrayed, but we all have to do what is best for us and our families. Whenever there’s a trade or a coach leaves, there’s always emotion. But then after a while we all move on and say, ‘What’s next?'”
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.
|Update: Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge press conference postponed||06.21.13 at 10:19 am ET|
The Celtics announced that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers will take part in a press conference at noon on Friday at the team’s practice facility in Waltham. Presumably, the status of Rivers for the forthcoming season — chiefly, whether he will return to the Celtics or head to the Clippers — will be resolved at that time.
UPDATE: Shortly after the press conference was scheduled, the Celtics confirmed to WEEI’s Mike Petraglia that it had been postponed and rescheduled for noon Monday. Whenever it takes place, the press conference will be carried live on WEEI.
|Stern: No deal can be made involving coaches contracts||06.20.13 at 3:48 pm ET|
The Celtics and Clippers were informed “days ago” that a deal involving Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett going to Los Angeles is not permitted under league trade rules, even if the deals were separated into two different transactions, a league source told CBSSports.com on Thursday.
Speaking on ESPN Radio in New York, commissioner David Stern said, “The teams are aware that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t authorize trades involving coaches’ contracts.”
Stern added that there is no separating the two deals at this point because everyone is aware that the two deals would be part of the same negotiation.
“If you think those, at this point, having been all over the media for the last week, are separate transactions, I have a bridge that I would very much enjoy selling to you,” Stern said.
For more Celtics news, check out weei.com/celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to give an update on the ongoing trade talks between the Celtics and Clippers involving Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and one or two first-round picks.
While the deal appeared to be dead Tuesday, the Clippers started trade discussions again Wednesday at the urging of pending free agent Chris Paul, according to Wojnarowski.
‘Yesterday, Chris Paul — really over the last 36 hours or so, Chris Paul really started to pressure the Clippers to get this deal done,’ Wojnarowski said. ‘If they wanted to keep him in L.A. and to keep him off the free agent market July 1, that they had to get this deal done and to throw that extra draft pick that Danny Ainge has wanted, get this done and all but certainly lock him down to stay with the Clippers. That is what started to happen. The Clippers called the Celtics back yesterday afternoon, reported at Yahoo!, and started a dialogue again.
‘Late last night after Brian Shaw interviewed with [Clippers owner] Donald Sterling in L.A., the Clippers management met with Sterling. I don’t know if they are going to talk more this morning, but they met with Sterling last night really to give him their recommendation that, ‘Hey, we need to do this. Let’s give them the pick. Let’s make these incredible financial commitments and get this deal done.’ I think there is a very good chance that Doc and Kevin Garnett go to the Clippers for Jordan and the two picks as early as today.’
Wojnarowski said the deal makes perfect sense for Garnett, who has a chance to compete for a championship with the Clippers and does not have to play 37 minutes per night. However, he also said trading Garnett and his no-trade clause to the Clippers makes sense for the Celtics, who can use Jordan and the two first-round picks to help rebuild.
‘For the Celtics, I really think this is a win-win,’ Wojnarowski said. ‘They wanted Doc to be their coach. They weren’t trying to run him out. But when he expressed his desire to do this, to get two first-round picks out of this, to get a young player, DeAndre Jordan, who they like but they don’t love him ‘ I think everyone in the league feels his contract, he is overpriced. But I know DeAndre is excited about coming to Boston. He feels like maybe it has run its course with him and the Clippers. Maybe he will develop better in Boston. This is a situation where Boston is ready to do this, too. They are not sending Doc away angrily.’
Without Garnett in Boston, Paul Pierce would be the last remaining member of the Big Three that won the 2008 NBA championship together on the Celtics. However, Wojnarowski said there is a good chance that Pierce ends up in a Clippers uniform by the end of the summer as well.
‘The Clippers would be one of the teams after [Pierce],’ Wojnarowski said. ‘For Pierce, if he does become a free agent ‘ there were a lot of questions around the league ‘ if Boston does waive him, remember, somebody can claim him on waivers, pick up his deal when they buy him out and pay him the full freight. So that is possible. Boston could still trade Pierce and get something back for him. The Clippers don’t have just a clear path to getting Pierce if he becomes free, but certainly there is an opportunity there. You know for Paul it makes all the sense in the world. Home in L.A., back with KG and Doc, a chance to win with the Clippers. It makes all the sense if he does get free to end up with the Clippers as part of the crew.’
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