Doc Rivers Is Gone And So Begins The Rebuilding. Maybe?
Via Yahoo Sports: “Doc Rivers has agreed to terms on a three-year, $21 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, ending weeks of dysfunctional and muddled negotiations, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. After the Clippers re-started talks on Sunday with the offer of a first-round draft pick to the Celtics for compensation, talks rapidly progressed and Los Angeles agreed to send Boston its unprotected 2015 first-round selection.”
So Doc is gone. Maybe for the best, maybe not, but he’s officially gone. He’ll join the Clippers and they’re loaded roster and the C’s get an unprotected 1st round selection in 2015. That’s probably going to be nothing more than a mid-2o’s pick and frankly that’s all we could expect from this deal. The original deal looked fishy because the C’s were getting multiple picks for Doc which really doesn’t work. One pick down the road is a bit more like it as the Celtics save $21 million with Rivers leaving.
But let’s talk more about what this means. It’s apparent that everyone was ok with Doc leaving. No one seemed to be coming out to the media and saying they wanted Doc to stay. A report surfaced over the weekend about he and Rondo getting into it and you started to realized that this was becoming a bit tasteless. Rivers wasn’t sure he wanted to coach a team of aged out players and the players have perhaps grown tired of Rivers as their coach.
This stuff happens. It’s been 9 long years of the bottom and the top and everything in between. People wanted him gone before the Big 3 arrived. Once he conquered the NBA in 2008, he was to be forever loved in Boston and really he will always be. As the Big 3 got older, got dismantled and other superstars arrived in the NBA, the Celtics fell short again and again. Even this year I thought they had something that could maybe get them to one more finals appearance, but a roster of veterans and the absence of Rondo due to injury was too much to handle.
Doc will move into the uberspotlight now. He’ll be expected to produce a title in LA in the shadows of the Lakers with a team certainly talented enough. Will he get Garnett or Pierce from Boston? Probably not, but you never know. He’ll be teamed up with another dynamic point guard in Chris Paul and be expected to give the Clippers a title that most figured Donald Sterling, their owner, would keep them from getting due to his cheapness. The spotlight is now firmly set on Doc, something that wasn’t the case in Boston and it will be interesting to see how he fares.
For the Celtics, it’s going to be an interesting year. Word is Garnett will stick around one more year, Pierce has one more year and Rondo two. They’re not a bad team, but their roster leaves little ability to manuever financially. Can they make the playoffs? I think so, but they’re not a title contender unless they get the max from all of their players. Can they get a steal in the draft this year? Someone who can be a piece for the future Celtics? Will they try to resign Rondo to a team friendly deal before he is a free agent? Can Danny Ainge work his magic again and secure a brighter future for Celtics fans?
There’s a lot still to be worked out but on thing is for sure, the first thing the Celtics need is a new coach. That new coach is going to find a roster that is very comfortably with themselves and pretty damn talented. I’m not going to lie, I’m sneaky excited for this team if they keep the roster around for one more year.
P.S. I have to assume that we are going to pick someone like Brian Shaw as coach right? Someone young who can benefit from KG and Pierce being around but also allows the Celtics to lock in a young stud of a coach for the future. Seems like a great idea to me.