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Report: Nuggets offered draft pick for Doc Rivers, will settle for Lionel Hollins or Brian Shaw

Jun 21, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Haven’t experienced enough twists with the Doc Rivers saga? Well you’re in luck.

The NBA’s latest soap opera has a new guest star: the Nuggets.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Shortly after firing George Karl, the Denver Nuggets offered the Boston Celtics a first-round draft pick as compensation to pry coach Doc Rivers out of his contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.Nuggets CEO Josh Kroenke made a bid for Rivers approximately 10 days ago, informing general manager Danny Ainge of his willingness to part with a pick if the Nuggets were able to procure Rivers.Nevertheless, Boston wasn’t prepared to start the process of letting Rivers leave and discussions never went beyond one brief conversation between Kroenke and Ainge, league sources said.

I wonder whether Ainge regrets not exploring this offer at the time. Like all teams coming off a successful run and considering rebuilding, the Celtics are looking at trading the assets that won’t be around during the next window of contention in exchange for younger and cheaper pieces. The Celtics are a little different, though, because they’re also in position to gain helpful players and/or picks in exchange for their coach.But if David Stern blocks an arrangement with the Clippers, Boston could be left getting no return for Rivers.Unfortunately for the Celtics, it sounds like it’s too late to run back to the Nuggets – even if Denver clears the necessary step of being a desirable destination to Rivers – because the Nuggets have gone a different route. Wojnarowski:

Denver quickly moved onto its current two finalists for the job: Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw. Both candidates made strong impressions on Kroenke and new Denver GM Tim Connelly in interviews this week, sources said.

Hollins and Shaw are both good candidates, and although Rivers might have the edge in coaching ability, I don’t believe Rivers is a first-round pick better. Why give up a valuable draft choice just to get a coach who might be better and would definitely cost a lot more?Actually, there is one answer to that question: Chris Paul. The Clippers can wisely make moves that appear foolish in a vacuum if it means re-signing Paul. They, like any team would be, are just that desperate to please their free agent superstar.And that’s why it’s in the Celtics’ best interest to find some deal that works for Los Angeles and Stern. Otherwise, they’re not getting any return for Rivers.

  1. broncobeta - Jun 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Damn. Josh Kroenke can’t even do this right.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Ainge should send Doc to Denver, you don’t like Boston, here!

      I like the dismantling of Boston, I still scared of them boys.
      – knickerbocker fan.

    • 4thquartermagic - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Disagree with this assessment. Kroenke made a great offer, Celtics foolishly rejected it.
      Nuggets regrouped and found two other great candidates.

  2. saint1997 - Jun 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I don’t mind the Celts are going to be out of the playoffs next season. Get a fresh face in one of those low seeds – like Washington or perhaps the Cavs depending on how they use this pick (preferably both and screw the Bucks)

    • fm31970 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Wow, a Bucks hater!? Never knew they existed. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about the Bucks in the playoffs this season.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      I think even with a rebuilding year the Celtics may (unfortunately for their draft spot) still be good enough for the 8th seed….which is a sad comment for the strength of the east outside the top few teams.

      • louderthanwords1 - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        I’m not sure how you think a rebuilding Boston team would make the playoffs. Its pretty easy to assume Miami, Chicago, New York, Indiana, Brooklyn and even Atlanta make the playoffs again. After that I’d place Philly, Toronto, Milwaukee, Cleveland and possibly Washington ahead of a celtics team without Rivers, KG, Pierce and Rondo coming back from injury. The east might be weak but Boston was a 7th seed with only 41 wins and their going to be much worse next yr.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        I mean it all depends on Jeff Green and Sullinger’s development. Sullinger, Rondo, Green, Bradley and a Center, maybe Sullinger with Bass sliding to the 4 is not the worst starting lineup in history.

        Maybe Melo can play ball. Hell Shavlik proved he could play some minutes and I thought he got screwed by River’s tightening up his rotation and coaching nervously in the playoffs.

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