It's a bittersweet moment. I like Doc. But, he's not the right coach for a rebuilding phase. I'm glad that this whole circus is over and the deal has been agreed upon. But I'm also sad because this means that the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce era is also over. While there was still the possibility that Doc was coming back, that window was still open. Now, we know it's closed and it's going to be hard to say goodbye to those two Celtic Warriors.
But, that's a story for another time. Jackie MacMullen is reporting that the Clippers agreed to a 3 year, $21 million contract for Doc, which is exactly what he had left on his contract with the Celtics. The Clippers' signing of Doc as their coach should also guarantee the return of Chris Paul, who has been pushing for the deal all along.
Jackie also reveals that Doc was not the driving force in all of this. He was reluctant to take on years of rebuilding in Boston, but he never tried to force Danny to bring back the veterans or to let him go.
Contrary to previous reports, according to league and team sources, the Celtics have been complicit all along in assisting Rivers make the switch from Boston to Los Angeles.
Although Danny Ainge, the Celtics' director of basketball operations, was initially irked that Rivers was lukewarm about returning to Boston, where a rebuilding process will soon be underway, team sources said he recognized the best way to accumulate first-round draft picks, which he covets, would be to relinquish his two most valued assets -- Rivers and Kevin Garnett. Since then, he and Rivers have been working side by side to secure a deal that is best for both parties, sources said.
The deal that would send Kevin Garnett to join Doc Rivers on the Clippers is on hold. They may revisit it at a later time but it must meet the league's criteria that the deal would stand alone and not be in any way a part of the deal to allow Doc to coach there. Ainge has also been trying to get assets in return for trading Paul Pierce. He has until June 30 to trade Pierce or to buy him out for $$5 million. He may also keep Pierce until later and try to trade him closer to the trade deadline when teams are often looking for veteran help to get them over the top.
Now, it's on to the task of finding a new coach for the Celtics. I like Brian Shaw. He's been on several teams' lists for their openings. He's a former Celtic and he's been credited with developing several of Indiana's young players. In my opinion, he'd be good for a rebuilding effort. With the draft coming up Thursday, Danny may act quickly, or he may put the coaching search off until after the draft. But, at least now we know we need one.
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