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SAS: Clippers could deal for Pierce, Garnett… and Doc?

Got your industrial-size grains of salt?


Stephen A. Smith dropped a wicked crazy rumor today when he suggested the Celtics and Clippers could revisit discussions from earlier this season in a deal where the Celtics would acquire Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and, believe it or not, Doc Rivers. Via ESPN Boston, here’s the Smith quote:

“I am hearing that it is possible, that the Clippers — because Boston is going to probably ask for Blake Griffin. … Now obviously KG ain’t enough (to get Griffin). You package KG with Paul Pierce, that still isn’t enough. But the opportunity for them to play together is something both would like to continue to do. But it gets very interesting if you let go of your coach, and you say Doc Rivers, we’d like you to come with KG and Paul Pierce.”

Now, here’s the reality check: Smith didn’t confirm the two teams were talking. He just said the teams would eventually discuss it. There’s no indication whatsoever the Clippers would consider moving an emerging star like Griffin for a package of fading stars like Pierce and Garnett. And that’s before you throw in Bledsoe. There’s no indication the Celtics would release Rivers from his contract. There has been no assurance Garnett even wants to play next year.

There are a hundred reasons why this isn’t going to happen.


As is clear by now, Pierce and Garnett are tied together. It’s almost impossible to imagine one returning to Boston next year without the other. It’s possible you could add the suddenly-reticent-about-returning Rivers to this duo if it becomes (or is already) clear Danny Ainge is ready to move on from this core (that’s a decent bet even if Pierce and Garnett return; Ainge knows the championship window is closed and will be concerned about the future much more than any victory lap for his aging stars next year).

If Garnett and Pierce were to be moved to the same team, the Clippers would be a good bet to be the destination, particularly given their need to re-sign Chris Paul, who can’t be convinced he has championship-level parts around him after the Clips’ first-round exit. And with Vinny Del Negro likely on the way out, there may be a coaching vacancy that could draw Rivers’ attention, especially if it allows him to continue coaching Garnett and Pierce.

We could keep breaking this down but this barely qualifies as a rumor right now. Right now, it’s just a fun discussion as we enter an offseason where it’s entirely possible we’re in for big changes in the makeup of the Celtics.

  • What is Stephen Smith smoking…….please tell me…

  • WTF

    Doc is overrated a lot, compared to Thibs. Look at the Bulls in 1st round and in the semi-finals despite missing three top players! Look at how well Robinson has been playing under Thibs. Rivers, overrated!!!

    • elro

      Didn't the Bulls get eliminated last year in the first round in 5 games? They had more players than this year – they only ere missing Rose. Yet Phily beat them in 5. Thibs is a great coach..but look at the last year when you praise this year's playoff run. Doc's team is w/o a point guard…Thibs has 2 point guards.

      • hydrofluoric

        They were missing Joakim Noah, too, and lasted 6 games.

  • IBleedGreen

    I would trade our entire backcourt for Nate Robinson right now.

    • WTF

      Well, Doc will not trust him.

  • WTF

    So maybe it was Thibs all along in the championship run?


    I have been screaming at the top of my voice since we let Thibs go, that it was one of the biggest mistakes ever made. Thibs orchestrated the whole defense and KG anchored it. Together, they worked in an amazing tandem. The Big 3, along with Thibs defensive genius, paired with a good supporting cast on the bench carried Doc to a championship. I could have put a cardboard cutout of Rick Pitino in place of a head coach that year, and the result would still have been the same — a championship. Doc was hailed as an amazing coach, blah blah blah. he was given such high praises, when the real coach was Thibs, who barely ever sat down and was always active and calling out plays. Man I miss that guy. When we let him go, I knew that was the end of that. Coaches like him don't come around often, they are a rare breed. Doc's only value is giving motivational speeches, but that can only take you so far. When it comes to X's and O's, getting 110% out of players, etc…Thibs, Pop, Carsile, etc are the only type that can do it. Doc knows that as soon as KG walks out of that door, his flaws will be one again exposed. He hasn't ever developed talent and/or rookies, he is good at telling veterans to go out there and play. If only we can somehow convince Thibs to come back to the Celtics, but that will be a tall task.

    • elroz

      Celtics had arguably the best defense in 2011 and 2012 seasons…with Doc and w/o Thibs. Thibs' Bulls got bounced out in 5 games by Phily even though they still had more talent than Phily after Rose went down.

      Get a reality check people!

    • Josh_5

      Do you realize that the NBA is a business? That just like any other job in life guys want a promotion, a pay increase?! Seriously dude. Thibs was not staying. He served his time as an assistant but was waaay to good to stay one. You gonna pay your coaching staff double money to keep both Doc and Thibs?! Your crazy. Plus Thibs deserved the chance to prove he can be a HEAD coach.

      • MSTRKRFT

        You missed the whole point. The point is I would have much rather kept Thibs over Doc any day.

  • james patrick

    Why are people so hard on Doc now? Love Doc. and Thibs was awesome too. I hate to say this, but I'd be happy for KG and Pierce and Doc if they went to Clipper Nation. Give them one more shot together. And our future with Blake and Rondo?! Wow… I can just see Rondo feeding Griffin the ball now. that's the kinda rebuilding i could get used to!

    • WTF

      You could blame Cs 1st round exit on Doc's overtaxing PP and KG in regular season because of his inability to develop a real team out of the players he had. Yeah, the Cs might be offensively limited, but defense? That's 90% on the coach when you have KG around. When it comes to the X and Os, Doc is empty like a dark hole. I don't believe the Spurs has more talent than the current Cs.

      • MSTRKRFT

        The Celtics on paper had the best bench before the season started. Doc instead made them look like a High School varsity bench. No one was used correctly in their roles, some not even used. The veterans who are past retirement were being used like 40+ minutes a game. It was a 6 man rotation in the playoffs. Pierce was averaging more minutes than Carmelo. None of it made any sense. The whole offensive rotation was a mess. We let so many leads squander, and Doc is sitting there with a puzzled look. Doc = unbelievably over-rated coach. Thibs would have definitely taken us to the ECF and given the Heat a true battle. If Thibs can game out Heat in the Semis with players like Belinelli and Nate, then he could do a lot more with KG and Pierce. There shouldn't even be a discussion about it.

        • GymRat

          Have to agree with you. Right now the Bulls are winning with their third string backcourt, half their team out, and with Noah injured.

          Doc refused to even let Shavlik touch the court.

          Why did we trade Nate Robinson? Because Doc couldn't coach him. But here he is one of the best players in the post season, and playing at the vet minimum. Why? Because Thibs is an incredible motivator and trusts every single player on their roster. You telling me we couldn't find a way to use a guy like that? But we want Jordan Crawford?

  • Fred

    Doc is one of the best at drawing up plays, and having his team execute them, he's also one of the best at bonding and creating relationships with his players, and his team always has the utmost respect for him. People need to stop saying Doc is overrated, Our roster just isn't that great, I mean I love our roster. I wouldn't want it any other way, but we don't have as much fire power as other teams, but Doc's poise confidence and our teams toughness and heart is what separates us from alot of teams, and when we are healthy we are easily a top 5 team in the league. If this trade goes through though It will be a little bittersweet but I'd love to see us get younger, while also seeing PP ang KG still in the league competing.


      What plays was he drawing up for us to win in the NYK series? You mean the end of the game Pierce ISO which has been used 923923 times, much to nil effect? Doc is a motivator, but he is inferior when it comes to X and Os of the game. Plain and simple. We are still a decent defensive team thanks to us still running and using Thib's defensive playbook and KG anchoring it. Offensively we are much more gifted than Pacers or Bulls, but each of those teams already up 1-0 against the two powerhouses in the East in Knicks and Heat. No excuses. Wake up, smell the coffee, and realize the obvious. Doc is over-rated, coaches like Thibs and Pop are the best. They know how to utilize the talent given to them and get 110% out of each of them.

  • Morpheus

    Fuck me silly. Stephen Curry is unconscious. Damn, i wish Danny would have gotten lucky and traded Rondo for Curry back when.


      Danny wanted to do the trade, but it didn't go through. If he did the trade, I can imagine the outrage and calling for Danny's head like when he traded for Green. Curry is on a different planet right now. Danny has tried to make some unbelievable trades, and if some of them went through…oh man.

  • IBleedGreen

    I would trade out entire roster for Stephen Curry right now.

  • Morpheus

    From Reggie to Ray to Steph Curry. If this kid can stay healthy, he could possibly surpass both.

    • check12check

      he really could. his game just looks so damn good right now.

    • GymRat

      Indeed. He's got the most effortless game I've ever seen. He always looks like a little kid on a playground against a bunch of old men…he's hardly exerting any energy yet nobody can stop him.

      If he keeps up this kind of play forget LBJ or Durant…he could be the MVP and league leading scorer for years to come.

  • dslack

    SAS was the one guy who called LeBron's Decision with confidence and resolution from the start. I think he's well connected. That said, this rumor sounds kind of crazy. But I'd be happy for the guys if they got a chance to compete for a championship again, and at the same time kick-started the Celtics' rebuilding efforts with a talent like Blake Griffin. Then, just need a coach (Stan Van Gundy? Phil Jackson? Jeff Van Gundy?)….

  • hax

    Why would the clippers do that trade? Rondo/Green/Griffin is a pretty nice young core though.
    I'd trade bledsoe & bradley & butler for a legit SG and/or center

    • yeah

      Maybe because Chris Paul-Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett-DeAndre Jordan sounds pretty good. Also Doc Rivers.

      Our roster would sound even better though, so I am secretly and perhaps sadly hoping this happens rofl. In my dreams though.

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  • check12check

    ^ dafaq was that guy talking about? anywho, I am conflicted about this trade. in regard to believability, It seems far fetched, but hey. this is the goddamned NBA. I have learned that any trade you can imagine and a few you can't are possible to happen in this league. In terms of desire to see it happen: I want to see PP and KG retire celtics, but I think this might be a good move for both teams. griffin and jordan are going to fit in with rondo even better than they do with pierce. for the clipps, I think CP would be much more capable of utilizing Pierce and Garnett. it's a strange possibility, but i can see why it is out there.

  • Josh_5

    Lotta Doc haters, wow. My approval of Doc trumps all you chumps in here hating on him. Quit the fair-weather bullshit.

  • tbunny

    This deal is 100% BS. There is 0 chance they are trading Griffin for two guys about to retire, UNLESS A) They know something about a career changing injury that we don't, B) Chris Paul is 100% ready to sign a contract when that deal happens.

    • Anthony

      The trade is pretty far-fetched but there has supposedly been some dissension with CP3 and the besties Griffin/ Jordan. There was an article written, I forgot where though, about the friction between the 3. If that were true, it might be a case of the Clips choosing between CP3 or Blake.

  • Sophomore

    This is the silliest trade rumor I've seen in a long time. C'mon.

  • GymRat

    I'm not a Doc hater. I actually really love him and have believed him to be one of the best in the game. But IMO this season he was exposed for being inflexable, stubborn, and untrusting. This lead to a bench that never gelled and never really got confident in their roles. How could they? I watched every game this season and I couldn't tell you who would play from game to game.

    He's still an excellent coach. But he's not the coach for a team in transition. He doesn't have the flexibility or the creativity and as people have pointed out – he doesn't know how to develop young players or instill confidence. You either deliver or you ride the pine. It creates fear instead of confidence and a lot of really good players underperformed this year.

    He also made some terrible choices in his substitution patterns and rode the older players far too long. I wouldn't want to come to Boston to play for him. Look what he did to Lee. They guy played his hardest all season and then was nailed to the bench for no real reason. It instills fear and breaks your confidence.

    This trade is absurb. But I'd actually love to see it go through for only one reason – to see if Doc can turn the Clippers into the worst offense in the league despite having CP3…and to see if PP and KG will still take the blame despite putting up all-star numbers in limited minutes.

  • ghoulbuns

    This rumor is nonsense.

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