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Source: Vinny Del Negro Will Be A Replacement Candidate if Doc Rivers Leaves

The Doc Rivers saga continues to grow more interesting by the day. While there have been no new revelations regarding Rivers himself in the past 12 hours, some contingency plans have come into focus, if Rivers decides to bolt Boston. Here’s the latest from Mark Murphy of  The Boston Herald:

Two league sources with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed yesterday that if Rivers does indeed leave, former Clippers coach Vinnie Del Negro will receive serious consideration as his replacement.

Clippers management, known to be interested in Rivers now that his reluctance has become public, was denied permission to talk to him earlier this week, according to one of the sources. Celtics management has now denied two teams permission — the Clippers and Nets. Memphis is also said to be interested, though Grizzlies management has not approached Ainge.

But Rivers’ prolonged deliberation has forced Ainge to at least consider alternatives. The Celtics president of basketball operations is an admirer of the Springfield-born Del Negro and his up-tempo philosophy, even if Del Negro reportedly didn’t mesh with his biggest star, Chris Paul.

CH’s Take: Three words here should do the trick: Worst trade ever? Let me elaborate on that a little bit. 

If Danny Ainge proceeds to dump KG, Pierce and essentially Doc in what will surely be a lackluster return (if it goes down) and THEN replaces Rivers with Vinny Del Negro, one of the most maligned coaches around the league, I’m not sure how much confidence Celtics fans should have in Ainge running this franchise moving forward. We are getting into too much speculation here, so I don’t want to go further than that, but it’s fair to say the reported contingency plan is even rockier than I would even expect.

I would write more about this, but I don’t want to give it any more thought. I’ll leave it at that.

  • IBleedGreen

    Can Clippers throw in a future 1st round pick in the Doc-Vinny trade?

  • We want Marty Conlon

    Understand Boston rebuild is not a dream scenario for any coach, but would none of the following coaches be interested for the right price: George Karl, Jeff or Stan Van Gundy, PJ Carlesimo, Doug Collins, Avery Johnson.

    I would take anyone of them over Vinny and demand for everyone on that list outside of Karl doesn't seem to be high.

    • Ray

      Let me add Lawrence Frank, Brian Shaw and unknown non-player up-and-coming coach to that list.

      • Anthony

        Not too excited about PJ Carlesimo or Lawrence Frank.

        Lionel Hollins is also available.

        • check12check

          let me also add my right sock and a 50 pound sack of dog food. would still be better coaches than del negro

  • W2.

    Let me go on record as saying that Vinnie's Celtics in losing would be more entertaining than Doc's Celtics in losing.

    Upside: Cheap – up tempo – been in playoffs – former player
    Downside: Hair cut – x and o's – questionable crunch time leader – Nickname (VD – yuck)

  • Sophomore

    No to VDN.

    But why are you sure we can't get anything useful in return if Doc and KG go to the Clips (especially if the Clips know that PP is the next piece)? I"m not. It makes the Clips, instantly, a serious Finals contender, even if they give up some nice young players. It would be a win-now play by a franchise in reasonable position to make one.

    • fabzzz

      Agreed. KG probably has two years of being a solid role player left. Well, more than solid honestly. And Pierce is still an All-star caliber player. I know its an expensive short-term title plan, but the Clippers have not had too many title runs in their history to the say least.

      I would not pull the trigger, even if KG would accept it, unless we got Bledsoe and a 1st rounder in return. And if we could somehow dump Terry in the deal, that would be cool too.

    • dasein

      Because the Clippers don't have anything all that useful to give. Paul and Griffin are off the menu. That leaves

      – Jordan. Overpaid and just not that good.
      – Bledsloe. About to be overpaid at the end of the year.
      – 25th pick this year, and likely low picks in the future. Meh.
      – No cap space to speak of, so can't take dead weight without sending more back.

      I don't mind the idea of KG and PP getting another crack at a ring, but there simply isn't a big return to be had from the Clippers.

  • Ersatz

    Danny might be a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them. Hiring VDN would be monumentally, ephochally stupid. I don't see it.

    • hydrofluoric

      Thank you.

      • fabzzz

        points for epochally – epochal is the adj form, had to look it up myself.

  • Vincent

    I am sure that Doc Rivers pulled an oblique laughing when he read this

  • hax

    Vinny is a smart coach who has had success with both of his coaching jobs so far. D-Rose was medicore until Vinny coached him into an all-star. The Clippers became lob city because of his tempo. They wouldn't look like that if Doc was there.

    • Vincent

      Vinny's mom is in the house!

    • Jim

      Vinny did a good job with the Clippers. The guy is a class act too. I watched almost every Clipper game and he did a great job keeping a bunch of veterans reasonably happy. His team was fun to watch. Doc's teams have become way too predictable.

      • Jason

        Vinny didn't do a good job at all with the clips. They went on pure talent. VDN has no idea how to coach defense and his play calling has always been suspect. He's also been known to seriously screw up his rotations. Clips lost because of his coaching.

        • Jim

          Clips lost because Blake hurt his ankle! Coaching does not make the ball go in the basket. Jordan can not hit free throws. That is and has been a big problem.

  • brknsp

    what about Jerry Sloan? has he shown any interest in returning to coaching? i think the celts should go for an experienced coach who might want to add to the celtics legacy. george karl would be high on my list as well.

    • brknsp

      and no to VD. that goes without saying.

  • Jwil

    NOOOO! We dont want any thing to do with the Van Gundy Bros.!!

    • GymRat

      Hate to admit, I kinda like Stan 😮

  • GymRat

    VDN is a terrible coach. There seems to be this confusion around being good at managing personalities and being a "players coach" with being a good coach as in being able to win games and take a team to the nest level. CP3 is why the Clippers improved, not Vinnie. Yes, players like Vinnie. But the guy has no clue how to run an offense or defense and his teams are terribly undisciplined…which is why he was fired despite the team having the best record in franchise history.

    Great coaches aren't always good at managing personalities or inherentaly likeable (Pop made Tony Parker cry) and Thibs isn't all that personable. But who doesn't want to play for them because they can flat out win games with whatever they are given. There's nobody quite that good available but I'd love Jerry Sloan or George Karl or Lionell Hollins. You need somebody who know how to win games with X's and O's and how to get your players into roles and places they can be effective. Hollins lost their best scorer and 2 key role players and still made the western conference finals.

    • check12check

      pop is like the red forman of NBA coaches. I freaking love that guy

  • talesofjp28

    I dont care who it is to replace Doc if we go into rebuilding mode, but not Vinny Del Negro. For the love of God no. No No No No NO!

  • Ghost of the Garden

    Danny must LOVE the 2014 draft. Trade Paul and KG, let Doc walk, have Rondo take DRose level recovery time, pawn JET off on someone, then let Green and Sully rack up huge minutes to get some experience.


  • g12

    How about we replace our gm with the spurs gm who clearly knows how to manage all vets, youngs and coaches! This whole thing is a mess and apparently no one within our franchise has the balls to dispel bs rumors or confirm sad truths. Im losing my 'religion' as i type. Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo to this management. What a shame …

  • skeeds

    screw dat! If we're gonna do this, let's go nuclear. I have a proposition for a coach. Zeliko Obradovic. Who is he? The most successful (by far) coach in European basketball history. I'm dead serious about this. Get him in, give him the keys. Ask anyone who's following world ball. There might be no question about who the best coach in the world is, that's Pop. But after him, most would pick Obradovic over any other NBA coach. And they would be right.

  • Russell

    I might just be the biggest Celtics fan on here and I’m talking back with the real big 3 Bird Parish McHale if I hear one more person say Doc Rivers is a good coach I’m going to loose it. As a coach we needed scoring rebounding and defense. Bradley was dead weight until the last game great news you don’t want to try and attack the basket or play in your face d then you sit. Plenty of other guards who could’ve gave something. As a coach you put in a guy like Randolph and say you rebound your blank off if not you sit. Pierce keeps throwing up duds you say attack no more jump shots. None of these happened we had pieces even with injuries to make a run coach Rivers dropped the ball. Ainge has been the most commited guy to the Celtics besides pierce through good and bad. Also a two athlete professional himself he’s competitive. If it takes a year or two to rebuild that’s fine I’d start from the ground up a coach coaches who he has period so for all of you who say you understand Doc wants to wait on Garnett and Pierce decision clearly states he’s no real coach a real coach can build a team from start to finish

  • High Rollers

    Doc relayed the message that he would decide “soon”… right? But if you’re Doc and you’re surrounded by folks, most notably DA, (somewhat understandably) looking out for their own lately, why would you decide anytime before draft night, the decision on P, Ticket’s choice, and the Clippers’ situation (coaching vacancy + Chris Paul’s free agency) are accounted for? He can check this hand as long as he can tune out the noise.

  • KBA

    I won't mind Avery Johnson. Lawrence Frank would be good too… at this point, I am sick of the Doc saga and I'm not sure if we can make another run with him anyways. I seriously blame him for the poor play in the playoffs this year. He ran his vets to the ground, and did an awful job of coaching. Throughout the Knicks series, it was evident that having PP do everything wasn't working but he made absolutely ZERO adjustments on that front, which ultimately were costly. Despite being shorthanded, I think we had a shot of beating the Knicks esp with KG and Green playing the way they were (not to forget Bass's defense).

    I think Doc is over hyped. There are many better coaches – Pop, Rick Carlisle, Thibs and many good up and coming ones like Mark Jackson and Frank Vogel. I'd rather have a players coach who will actually coach the WHOLE team like Avery Johnson (played under Pop fyi… )

    • Anthony

      Doc and VDN played under Pop also.

    • Anthony

      A definite no to VDN
      Also, maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time seeing Avery coaching Rondo. I think Rondo will tune him out really quickly.

      I would prefer Lionel Hollins or Jeff Van Gundy, though their price tag may be a lot higher.

  • hax

    Bandwagon Celtics fans are annoying. Will whine about Del Negro, but will stfu if he got hired and gets his into round 2 next year with rondo-green as the whole team.

    • I_Love_Green

      Del Negro is not a coach you want for your team in the playoffs. He's borderline awful.

  • Morpheus

    I would love to see how Hollins and Rondo would get along. That one would be interesting.

  • check12check

    I'm pretty darn sure Danny would not even consider this. it's just a suicide move really

  • ghoulbuns

    Distressing idea. I dont like Doc, but why go from first class to coach? (No pun intended)

  • High Rollers

    Just imagine if Dwight Howard did the unthinkable and told Chris Paul he’d sign with the Clips for the vet minimum if necessary, if it’d mean they could pry P/KG/Doc ticket from Boston for, say, Bledsoe, Griffin, and picks. It’ll never happen, of course, and there are plenty of guys on both sides of that equation I just can’t stand. But imagine it. Tremendous assets for Boston. The KG-led Clips would become overwhelming title favorites. D12 would be well on his way to an image makeover. And there would certainly weeping and gnashing of teeth down in South Beach. The Lake Show too would be struck dumb. And finally, for my taste, I will love seeing Rondo find a way to carve his niche in the new landscape.

    Of course, I wouldn’t mind seeing our core back in green as they should be. Wouldn’t mind that one bit.

  • I_Love_Green

    Gonna start an online petition for all Celtics fans to prevent VDN from even being considered to coach this franchise. We're basically signing away a few seasons if we hire this guy.


  • High Rollers

    I vote for keeping the core (including Doc) and trading Jeff (though I love the guy) for Josh Smith in a sign-and-trade. A starting five of Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Smith, and KG. I think that’s size, strength, and speed enough. That becomes a lot more feasible if D12 picks someone other than the Hawks, no?

  • High Rollers

    I've seen the game of Chicken play out before, but never in such an all-or-nothing manner as this. The new Big Three of Doc-KG-Pierce seem to be offering the ultimatum of here (Boston) or there (Clipperland), we're a package deal. Very Three Musketeers of them. Danny Ainge seems to have his own going of you want this from my Halloween '07 haul you're gonna have to pony up two thirds of the best from your pillowcase in the form of all your first-rounders for the foreseeable and unforeseeable future, among other things.

    It's no wonder this story is being followed so closely by media and fans alike.