Immediately after their disappointing exit from the 1st round of the playoffs, the Brooklyn Nets fired interim head coach PJ Carlesimo. While the Van Gundy brothers appear to be front runners, another high profile name is surfacing – Doc Rivers:
Rivers is arguably the finest coach in the NBA, and while he could stay in Boston for as long as he would like, the Celtics could be entering a protracted rebuilding phase that would go well beyond the three seasons remaining on his present contract. It is also unclear whether Rivers and Danny Ainge will agree on the direction that the rebuild should take, with Kevin Garnett considering retirement, Paul Pierce in limbo, and Rajon Rondo perpetually in trade rumors.
Moreover, Ainge in recent years hasn’t packed the roster with defensive-minded players that Rivers craves, or found the backup point guard the Celtics needed just to get out of the first round this season. If the Nets sense that Boston’s breakup is imminent, they would at least gauge Rivers’ interest – assuming their owner has heard of him – but reaching a compensation agreement could be problematic.
The other barrier would be personal: Rivers has told friends that if he were to leave the Celtics, he would wait until his youngest son finish high school before pursuing another job. Spencer is a junior.
I have so many problems with this story.
Protracted rebuilding phase? Even if the Celtics severe ties with KG and Paul Pierce, they’ll trot out an athletic and young starting line-up that includes Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and the Melo-stopper Brandon Bass. Add in whomever they get in return for Pierce/KG. While they’re not going to be a top 4 team, I don’t think the situation is as dire as most think.
There’s also the small fact that Doc Rivers is under contract for three more seasons. Sure, he can walk away from the Celtics but Danny Ainge isn’t going to let him coach another team. And while it’s happened in other sports (Bill Belichick, John Farrell, Jon Gruden), I can’t recall the last time a coach-for-players trade was made in the NBA. The Celtics would need cap space to take back a player of any real worth and I believe Doc Rivers is worth much more than a late 1st rounder.
The notion that Danny Ainge hasn’t stocked the roster with defensive minded players is also laughable. Defense isn’t their problem! Danny continues to search for offensive minded players because that’s what this team needs.
And this just in… I’m hearing reports on Twitter that Stephen A. Smith’s blowhole blurted out a scenario where the Celtics move KG, Pierce and Doc Rivers to the Clippers for Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler.
Excuse me while I step away and allow my head to explode.