One of the more interesting turn of events in the whole Boston Celtics situation is Doc Rivers suddenly not to sure he wants to return to coach another year, which has opened up a prospect, according to ESPN, that the Los Angeles Clippers go after the head coach, along with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
This is where the NBA is heading these days. Friendships determining the fate of teams instead of money. When LeBron James did it, it was wrong, but when Kevin Garnett wanted an NBA title and left Minnesota for the Boston Celtics, it was OK. And it’ll be OK now, according to most, once Pierce and Garnett confirm that they actually plan on playing together, regardless of where, next season.
There are a few road-bumps in the theory. On paper, it’s something that can be achieved. Giving up draft picks and cash considerations to acquire the three years and $21 million left on Rivers’ contract is something the Clippers can do, but it’s not very likely that Danny Ainge won’t like something more in return. A player, or two. Eric Bledsoe? DeAndre Jordan? Hard to say.
And that’s even before the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett issue comes in. Pierce is owed $15 million for next season, while Garentt is owed $25 million for the next couple of years. One option in all of this is to amnesty Kevin Garnett which will allow him to sign for a much cheaper deal with the Clippers, while Pierce might be released altogether, giving the Celtics a much smaller cap hit for next season on his expiring deal.
In case all that happens, the Clippers probably won’t be able to hang on to Chris Paul, but it’s hard to say where Paul is going at the moment. Despite seeing a head coach getting fired for his sake, it might not be enough to keep him on the team. A maximum contract he wants (although some suggest he’s willing to lower his demands in order to play for a title contender) won’t leave too much room for both Pierce and Garnett who still want to compete, but aren’t going to take minimum contracts while doing so.
The Boston Celtics? It’s hard to say what Rivers wants, but it seems he isn’t crazy about the idea of coaching a team in rebuilding mode, especially not when it’s around Rajon Rondo. For him, the ideal situation would be seeing Rondo get traded, and having the changes being made around players and leaders he trusts in a little bit more – Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who seem to have decided to tie their remaining NBA years to one another.
The Clippers scenario, especially the one involving all three of them, is unique and quite a long shot, but stranger things have happened in the NBA. If the Clippers are serious about this, they’ll give up quite a lot in order to get Danny Ainge to seriously consider it. But does that give them a championship caliber team? They’ll have Blake Griffin and a decent bench, but on paper, once again, it doesn’t look like the kind of team that can win NBA championships, unless Chris Paul remains a Clipper somehow.