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Report: Doc Rivers having doubts about going to Clippers

Jun 17, 2013, 7:02 PM EDT

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics - Game Three Getty Images

The Celtics and Clippers are still discussing the trade that would send Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers to Los Angeles, but the whole deal is predicated on Rivers wanting to coach the Clippers.

So, even if the Celtics and Clippers agree how to handle Eric Bledsoe, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, Rivers still must give his approval, which might not happen. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe

Meanwhile, a source close to Rivers told the Globe that Rivers is still grappling with the decision, especially as the trade gets more complicated and negotiations more contentious. The talk of the Clippers acquiring Paul Pierce in the trade are remote, especially since the Celtics would have to honor his deal and send him to the Clippers with a $15 million salary.

Why would Rivers turn this down? Coaching Garnett and Paul Pierce with a better supporting cast seems ideal for him. Washburn explains a possible hang-up:

And don’t expect the Celtics to waive Pierce just to see him sign with the Clippers during free agency. If they decide to trade Pierce, and NBA sources said the team is open to the possibility, they want a return for his services unless waiving him will allow him enough salary cap space to sign a solid free agent.

At a certain point – if it hasn’t already passed – Rivers returning to Boston will be more trouble than it’s worth. He’s essentially telling every Celtic besides Garnett and Pierce he doesn’t want to coach them.

Rivers obviously prioritizes coaching Garnett and Pierce, but if he can bring only Garnett to Los Angeles, that could change the equation. How likely is Pierce to end up with the Clippers, and would Rivers accept that risk? That’s the question the coach must ask himself – just so he’s prepared if the teams ever agree to a trade.

  1. readysethike - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    so lemme get this straight.

    Celtics trade Pierce, Terry, Lee, Garnett and Coach Rivers to the Clippers for:

    DJ, (maybe Bledsoe) and a First Round Pick?

    so many questions need to be answered, why are they giving up all that for Two young players who aren’t even superstars in this league and a first round pick which may turn out to be in the 20-30 in terms of a first round selection? am i missing something?

    • neutral242 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      Exclude terry and lee^

    • kjereld615 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      Well from what I have been hearing it won’t be Terry and Lee but Terry or Lee in the deal. However I get what you’re talking about. If Bledsoe is not in the deal then this is not worth it. Jordan is a good player but are the Celtics really willing to give up an amazing coach, two hall of famers and a extra piece for a good player and a late draft pick? Where in that says successful? It’s either D. Jordan, Bledsoe, and a pick or no deal. The only way this deal goes through without sending Bledsoe to the Celtics is if they send someone else alongside Jordan like Crawford and they have already stated that is not an option. I hope the Celtics don’t mess this up, I rather be a descent team with a great coach this season then a adequate team with an descent/unproven coach.

      • albertmn - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        Don’t worry, the Celtics will be a descent team next season (not decent) regardless of whether this trade happens or not.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM

      I hope they make the trade with the Lakers, Blake and Bledsoe for Howard.
      I don’t care about Doc and the Celtics crap.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        That would be too sweet! It would never happen, but it would be NOICE!

      • bigbenh8tr - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:01 PM

        Oh and you are a Lakers fan……tool

    • spthegr8 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      Wouldn’t you be a little UNSURE about jumping ship and making Donald Sterling your new boss???

      • brookwell2013 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        Spot on spthegr8…….Rivers is way too sophisticated and has superb representatives….once they complete their due diligence they will never, ever, agree to a deal with Sterling…….I have an overwhelmingly feeling (sorry Clipper Nation, I admire your loyalty and all) but I think that the organization has hit its high water mark……Jordan has ceased improving, Griffin is just not improving at all (maybe it’s the injury bug) and the rest of the roster is sometimes above average but as we saw in the Griz series they are not close to elite yet….all in all CP3 may find himself in a situation with the 3rd or 4th choice is hired for the head coaching spot and the roster is just not improved. Looking at the organization objectively, I am not optimistic about their future.

    • jteng044 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Yes! You are missing something. The Clippers are mortgaging their future for a chance at a ring next year and with KG and Pierce on the decline, the Clippers will be rebuilding again in a couple of years and CP3 wants no part of a rebuilding team.

      • JHathwell - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        Mortgaging the future? D’ andre Jordan is an overpaid Center who is useless on offense. Trading him to get one of the best coaches in the world is a great idea. Even if Bledsoe ends up part of this deal, his days as a clipper were numbered anyway.

    • bradleyty - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Not quite.
      From what I understand, it’s:
      DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Willie Green and a 1st round pick for Courtney Lee and/or Jason Terry and Kevin Garnett. The Celtics would then buyout Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce’s contracts, allowing them to sign with the Clipper. I THINK that’s what’s happening, I’m not 100% sure though.

    • JHathwell - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      The trade is Jordan, Caron Butler and draft picks for KG, Rivers and one of the Celtics bad contracts, either Lee or Terry. Boston wants Bledsoe and the Clippers won’t budge, so the compromise would be LA taking Lee or Terry off their hands to give them some salary relief.

    • drudefoe - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      Doc Rivers is looking tired, he’s had a good run with a big 3 in Boston but unfortunately for Boston fans, he can see the writing on the wall.. He’s not prepared for a long term rebuild.. I’d really question his credentials at this point in his career because most of his success can be directly related to player personnel.. He’s ‘running’ from a sinking ship, rather than taking on the challenge of providing leadership at getting things back on track at the Celtics..

    • anhdazman - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:27 AM

      Because Pierce, Terry and Garnett are all over the hill. Lee is bottom bench material and Rivers time in Boston is about done. He doesn’t want to go through a rebuild.

  2. pmx8411 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    looks bad on both sides, Clippers are trying to win a championship now but their future is looking kinda eh….

    • anhdazman - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:28 AM

      Clippers make this trade and they’re going to look real old with not much young talent on the bench. Sort of like their cross town rivals the Lakers.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Well this is awkward.

  4. therealhtj - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Can you blame a guy for having doubts about Donald Sterling not screwing the whole thing up?

  5. 00maltliquor - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Make like Nike Doc and Just Do It! LOL! BOS a bunch of bums, leave KG and The Troof behind too!! Abandon ship and jump on the CP3/Blake Griffin life-raft baybeeee

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      edit: Doc, jump the Celtics sinking ship, leave the crew behind to drown, hop into the CP3 life raft, and paddle over to the S.S. Griffin to be the new skipper! Baybeeeee! LMAO!

      • loungefly74 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:07 PM


  6. coachdaddioman - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    ya know, enough! now he’s having second thoughts???? i love doc as a coach, but this all started at his behest, and now he’s saying ‘uh, nevermind’????. ship him out, danny – NOW!

  7. kb2408 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    At this point, how can he remain Boston’s coach? It’s either the Clipper’s, another team or the broadcast booth.

  8. JHathwell - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    I don’t know that I agree with the idea that whether or not Pierce comes is the deal breaker for Rivers. As of now, this is a team that features Paul and Blake Griffin and a chance to coach a legit title contender. I would think Doc is excited and itrigued by what he can get out of Blake and the chance to coach arguably the best PG in the game. KG and Pierce would be veteran role players on this team, not the stars of.

  9. paulhargis53 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    When/if KG winds up on the Clippers, its going to get worse for you lakers fans.

    Mr. Hargis will be a fan of the better L.A. team. What a nightmare for you turds.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Sooo… you mean The Lakers?

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      I’m surprised that someone who constantly bashes Lakers fans for being bandwagon would be willing to jump loyalties as easily as you just admitted.

  10. blakegriffin32 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    NBC sport readers are so dumb.

    There is absolutely no chance for a Lakers trade so don’t even bring it up.

    Donald Sterling is willing to pay Doc big bucks. Sacks is able to handle sterling and he has shown no problems recently.

    They are not morgtating their future–they get one of the best coaches in the game and KG (who has the same amount of years remaining on his contract as Dj) who is miles better than DJ and a chance to have cap room in the future.

    As to why the celtics do this–cap space and a good young player. Makes perfect sense for both teams.

  11. gogronk - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Let the spin begin

  12. pastabelly - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Doc to TBS.

  13. paulhargis53 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Cmon malt, you’re smarter than that….you aren’t kb2408 aka lakerslurper.

  14. herkulease - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Perhaps he realized a move to the clippers would lead to unrealistic expectations of Championship or bust.

    Lets assume they get Pierce and KG. On paper it looks great. Paul, Pierce, KG, Griffin. Except Pierce will be 36 and his numbers have been declining the last few years. KG is 37. He’s not going to go out there and play 35 minutes a game and last.

    Then there’s issue of shots. KG and Pierce combined for 27 attempts per game. the guys rumored to be shipped out(Jordan, Butler, Bledsoe) only combine for 21.

    Rivers past success can only hold off pressure for so long.

  15. atomictickets - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    The Damage is done, Doc has told to many people that he doesn’t want to rebuild and wants the trade now that he was in favor of the trade too late to bring him back . DOC ERA is Over, I don;t see how the Celtics can bring him back after all that has transpired !

    No spin for not wanting to be here anymore !

  16. pistolpete0903 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    I was always of the view that Doc got way too much credit during the championship run.
    The architect of the 2008 Celtics was Thibs with his defense (executed very well by the Three stooges).
    Can’t blame Doc though; took his knocks during a relatively long coaching (for a player who is also a coach) career. I can see why he would like to be in a position where his team is a top contender (I can see him fitting well with Memphis)

  17. paulhargis53 - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    I’ve said all along I’m a Kevin Garnett fan.

    Too bad you don’t pay attention. Or understand my M.O. on this site.

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