Those Doc Rivers rumors about him wanting to leave town for a contender? Well, they aren’t going away. Instead, the reports continue to heat up about Rivers potentially looking at leaving Boston for potentially greener pastures. Here’s the latest from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN.com
The Los Angeles Clippers have not formally requested permission to interview Celtics coach Doc Rivers in the wake of widespread reports about Rivers’ potential departure from Boston, but there is strong mutual interest between the parties, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday that Rivers is highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers in the event that he and the Celtics part company after nine seasons together and one championship in 2008. Sources say that the Clippers, meanwhile, would immediately vault Rivers to the top of their list if he became available as they continue a coaching search that, to this point, has focused on Brian Shaw, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.
Earlier Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times, citing several NBA executives, reported that if Rivers decides he doesn’t want to coach in Boston anymore, the Clippers would be interested in him and he would become their No. 1 choice.
CH’s Take: Out of all the potential destinations for Rivers to land if he wanted to get out of town, Los Angeles has always made the most sense. Doc isn’t going to skip town in Boston to live to coach a small market team like Memphis or Denver. The Clippers have Chris Paul in their back pocket and are one of the few destinations that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would be happy to land in as well, if they aren’t back for a last stand in Boston. With that said, there are a tremendous number of obstacles that would stand in the place of Doc, as well as Pierce or KG heading to LA in a trade.
If Doc were to head west, I see it as an all or nothing scenario with those guys. The Clippers aren’t in much better place to contend next season than the C’s without ample help in the form of Doc’s trusted veterans. Compensation, both for Rivers and Pierce/KG in a separate package would surely be challenging to keep all parties involved happy. The Clippers have fewer attractive assets than you might think, and I don’t see them mortgaging the farm for Doc or his All-Star veterans.
So while the possibility definitely remains in play, the odds are still highly in favor of it not happening in my estimation. Stay tuned to CelticsHub for an in-depth breakdown of why in the coming hours.