Post-game Reactions

It appears the Celtics offseason may be on the verge of coming full circle. Following up Ramona Shelbourne’s report from earlier today about trade talks dying off, multiple reports from just about everywhere have come in this afternoon. The common theme? The Clippers are balking at giving up two first round picks in a deal for Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett, and are looking to move on to other options.

Unlike Saturday when both sides have reached an impasse, this time it looks to be more than posturing, as Danny Ainge told Baxter Holmes of  The Boston Globe today:

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed to the Globe that the proposed Celtics-Clippers blockbuster deal that would have sent both Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to the Clippers is, in fact, “dead.”

Making matters even more interesting? Ainge still wants Rivers back as head coach, despite all the speculation. What does Doc have to say about all of it?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports fills up in on that part of the story:

After talks in a blockbuster deal fell apart over draft pick compensation, Doc Rivers is unsure about returning to the Boston Celtics as coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.

The Celtics have told Doc Rivers they would still like him to return as coach. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge informed Rivers of the failed trade talks on Tuesday morning, and reiterated the Celtics’ desire to have him return and fulfill the final three years and $21 million left on his contract, sources said.

Rivers will travel to Boston on Wednesday and discuss his future with Ainge. The Celtics and Rivers plan to reach a final resolution in the next few days, sources said.

CH’s Analysis: So we are back at square one at this point. Ainge made the right move thankfully, and walked away from an inferior offer from the Clippers. They might call back, but they probably won’t because let’s face it, they’re the Clippers. Unless Chris Paul strongarms them into a move, Danny Ainge isn’t going to settle for less than decent value. Since he can’t get multiple picks or salary cap flexibility, it’s not worth blowing up your franchise up for a couple late round picks and DeAndre Jordan.

Time is running relatively short though now. Rivers is not going to coach anywhere else next year, unless it’s with KG in my opinion and I don’t think Garnett wants to start over anywhere else, unless it’s with Rivers on a contender. I don’t see any other contenders with coaching vacancies out there, so both of these guys are going to fade into the sunset, or they are back for at least one more run in Boston. It all probably depends on what Ainge elects to do with Pierce.

All in all, the possibility Doc and KG are back next season is still very real. Pierce too. Ainge dug himself into a hole cap-wise last season, but he’s not going to give those guys away to get out of that hole.

The bad blood about Doc wanting to leave? I don’t think there’s going to be too much of that either. By offering to go to LA with KG, he was doing Ainge a favor in helping C’s get value for both him and Garnett. It just didn’t work out. My guess there was plenty of civil conversation about this behind closed doors. The Celtics may not be thrilled with Doc’s flirtation with LAC, but I don’t think it’s anything they can’t get over.

Now, comes the true test. Just how much does Doc wants to stay in town? And will Ainge be willing to let his coach walkaway since he wants to start rebuilding now, rather than field a competitive team next year with KG and Pierce on it? Or does he cave on Doc’s desire to return with Pierce and KG? Or does Doc want out either way?

We’ll find out in mere hours.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Jim

    I have lost a lot of respect for Doc Hollywood Rivers! Time for a new coach who is dedicated to the Celtics 100%.

    • jman

      I don't see why the dis-respect. To me he was trying to keep his two players together. To me as a homer lol, it sounds like Danny wants a rebuild without Pierce and Doc wants to keep his friends together with him andthere was a team willing to accept the three and be a contender. It helps both teams get what they wanted. But the clippers were dicks about it and Danny was smart about it. The Clippers with kg,pierce,Paul,griffin or Howard would be a fun team and definetley a favorite. C's would of got their beginning of a new era. Thankfully hopefully Kg and pierce are here again and Doc learns new strategies…lol.

    • dslack

      We have no idea what was actually happening behind the scenes. Doc's possible move to LA could have been because ownership doesn't want to pay him $7M to coach a late-first-round team.

  • Switcharoo

    I would like to see the big three (Paul KG & Doc) for one more run, I hope it happens.

  • someguyinsac

    This could be a little awkward, as if it isn't enough already by now. o.O

    • janos

      hi sac is janos
      i am good see you here am to share the good news i am now the grandfather beautifuls baby boy of health

      • someguyinsac

        Congrats Grampa Janos! =)

  • Morpheus

    I am happy. I want Pierce, KG back with Doc. Doc just needs to implement a new offensive system where it plays to the strengths of Rondo, Green, Suillnger and Bradley more.

    From the Clippers side of things, i hope CP3 walks out on their incompetent ass and they return to the bottom where they belong. Meanwhile, the Celtics return back to the top of the East.

    How do you like dem apples.

  • Paceman

    I think it still all starts with ainge telling pierce, doc and kg that they don’t intend to bring pierce back and it all goes from there. So blame ainge not doc.
    I think when they committed to bass, terry and lee’s contracts they went all in for three years (including this one which was a bust), and now they’ve rethought things, but it’s way too late to not suffer in a big way if they make any major moves, so they need to just let it run its course, see if either bass, terry or lee can have a good start to the year and then flip one or more of them for a big at the trade deadline, draft a big who’s ready to play now, bring back pp for another year after his contract runs out on a greatly reduced deal and then let pp and kg retire together in 2015) as celtics, let doc go and then really blow it up.
    The days of any team being perennial contenders are all but over and there will be cycles, which is what the cba is all about. But there’s no point shooting yourself in the foot in the process.

  • GymRat

    I'm really scratching my head on this deal. What are the Clippers thinking? I really don't get the value of what they thought they were offering or how they are approaching their future.

    If they are going for win now…those late draft picks do nothing for you and will only get later if you build a really good team so why not give them up. They are really garbage anyway.

    And DeAndre Jordan? If he was on a rookie contract…maybe. But his deal blows up to $13 million if he's traded. That's more than Garnett makes. So you've gained nothing in cap room, and you've given up a defensive anchor and the second best paint defender in the game (Hibbert being 1st), a friggin HOF player who has the best mid-range jumper at his position and you get…

    What exactly? Jordan's terrible free throw shooting limits his minutes more than KG's age does his. He can't score. He is a mediocre rebounder for his size, and his only asset is shot blocking.

    Even if you added Bledsoe and absorbed one of the contracts from Terry or Lee…all you've really done is upgrade (slightly) from Lee or Terry and given yourself a (slightly/possibly) better bench. The salary cap would still be maxed and you're out the face of your franchise and one of the better coaches in the league.

    What an embarrasing waste of time.

    RANDOM THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Kind of expecting the Heat and Atlanta to do a sign and trade swap – Bosh for J Smoove after they lose this series. J Smoove becomes the rim defender paint protector and rebounder they've long lacked with the athleticsm to play their aggressive D and as the 3rd scorer his inconsistent shooting won't kill them. Meanwhile Bosh goes back to being the number one option and playing his game as a face up scorer beside Horford.

    • dasein

      Don't know that Smith in Miami is gonna work. Bosh's role there is to drag a big out of the paint to open up driving lanes for LeBron. Smith doesn't have the J to do that, so the spacing would go out the window.

    • janos

      hi rat i am not of happy right now to my think nba spur is give all to this game and now is loose 20 point s on game next are you convince me the otherswide ?

      • GymRat

        Hey Janos! Yay, not sure what was sadder – watching them blow the series with a bunch of mental errors in that final 50 seconds…or seeing the ball bounce out to Ray Allen who makes the game tying shot and seals the game in OT. Ugh.

        Honestly, Ginobli cost them that game and I hope Pop has the heart to sit him if he shows up as poorly next game. He had 8 turnovers a crucial missed free throw (Kawhi is more forgiveable he's so young and this is his first finals) and most of his shots were forced or just plain poor decisions. That's 8 trips without a shot. It's inexcusibly bad.

        So….yes! To convince you otherwise. Ginobli will not turn the ball over 8 times again (it was a career worst for him)…The Heat have not won back to back games in over 13 games now (they are due for a letdown)….the Spurs nearly won despite playing a pretty terrible 4th quarter…and Tim Duncan disappearing (I noticed he was hesitating and not making the quick moves that was killing the Heat)…and they also missed a bunch of open 3s (personally I think they got Green in his head and rushing his shot by having him work out with shoves and fouls to prep him for the game – he was shooting too fast)….

        It really depends on how bad the Spurs want it. They've had their hearts broken and realize how quickly things can slip away against a team that fights to the last second. They won't back down again and you can expect everyone to fight for every lose ball and make the key plays that can turn the game in their favor.

        The biggest point of emphasis – Shane Battier banked in an ugly off-the-mark 3 point shot…he misses that and SA is hoisting banner number 5.

        SA will show up and fight to the end…and lets hope this time the ball bounces in their favor!

        Cheers Janos!!

        • janos

          thank you rat am enjoys read this a lot you are great fan nba celtics than you take a time write me good one is apprecate

  • dasein

    I don't think I'm so keen on patting Danny on the back here. The Clippers pulled out apparently because they didn't want to give up 2 picks and some cash. This means Danny was good with KG and Doc for Jordan, 2 picks and cash.

    No Bledsloe. No dumping of Terry/Lee; no cap relief. We only get a overpaid centre who can't play and a couple of crappy picks. That is a shitty haul right there. I'm strongly considering ticking the 'no confidence' box on my ballot here.

  • Morpheus

    How does Danny escape blame here? Everyone blames Doc, yet it was Danny talking on the phone trying to deal our heart and soul and our HOF captain for a bag of Doritos.

  • james patrick

    people need to calm down. Doc was doing the C's a favor, or at least trying to. KG was doing the C's a favor. And in the end it would've given Doc, KG and Paul another shot. But you can't give them away for nothing and they knew that. Rest easy Celtic nation. We're gonna get all 3 back for next season with a heathy Rondo, least we forget we lost our star point?!?!?! C'mon!

    • janos

      hi james patrick

  • hax

    Allen went to a contender. Doc was willing to go to a contender, and won't just commit to staying still, a week before the draft when we need a head coach to consult with. KG was willing to lift his clause to follow Doc. All I know is I've seen more poor seasons than good, and The Truth has never showed major indecision or public willingness to sellout his fans for a ring. He's a hero and has stuck with Boston for 15 years counting. Keep him, Danny!

  • dasein

    I don't think I'm so keen on patting Danny on the back here. The Clippers pulled out apparently because they didn't want to give up 2 picks and some cash. This means Danny was good with KG and Doc for Jordan, 2 picks and cash.

    • dasein

      whoops. double post. stupid interweb

  • jpbl1976

    I'm happy this fell through. This was stupid trade: 2 picks and Jordan for KG and Doc??! That's stupid, Even when Red supposedly considered trading Kevin McHale, it was for Sam Perkins and Detlef Schrempf.

    Those two right there were light years BETTER than Jordan is (and might possibly ever be) and I would say that an older KG is at least comparable with an old McHale. Danny can't be that desperate but it's emerging that he just doesn't know how to do a trade properly.

    Come on, Wyc! Bring back Larry Bird!

  • Paceman

    I agree! Bring back Bird! (I assume you mean as GM and not a player, LOL)

  • janos

    i am very much enjoy nba spur on current

  • Montrossdad

    Every year is the same on here…let’s bring back all our guys and if everyone stays healthy and plays better we’ll will win the east.
    It’s that attitude that ensures an increasingly inept Danny ainge is never held responsible for his gross mismanagement of celtics personnel.
    Rebuild is not easy or fun…especially when you delay the inevitable season after season, only hanging onto aging stars to ensure ticket sales. Disappointing.

    • dasein

      And the alternative was better? Paying DeAndre Jordan MORE than KG for 2 years and getting 1 pick that on average nets you a Malik Rose, in a below average draft.

      Sometimes doing nothing is the best move.

    • hax

      We can't get anything decent in return, so the team is more successful staying pat. As for a rebuild, I don't think Danny needs to worry about a 2 decade drought. It's 2013, teams just clear space and sign a big 3 these days. We've seen the Heat, Nets, Rockets, Hawks, etc. try this strategy. In a year or two(if we stay pat now), cap space will be there to add one or two prime players to add to Rondo-Green

  • hax

    Where was this clutch ray allen shooting when he was a Celtic? I recall many playoff series where he'd shoot 20%+ of our shots and miss almost all of them.

    • check12check

      he has an easier role in Miami. we never really used ray to the best of his ability either

  • Anthony

    I don't care what anyone says but I have to hate on Ray right now. The game was over and then the dagger 3. And a no call on the last Manu drive? Are you kidding me? SMH

    I will admit it was a thrilling game though. Just would have been nice if the Spurs could pull it off,

  • janos

    you know i am not even a mad guy any more this guys gonna call what they want and make the money gane 7 you know i was get call my friend say him something going happen here and not even a mad guy anymore t

  • High Rollers

    Incredible game. Both teams played hard.

  • WTF

    Imagine it's the Cs vs Spurs in the finals. It would be a wash between stars on either team, but Pop set up a system for the role players to shine both on D and O. The Cs weakest link would be Doc.

  • High Rollers

    Lol… Pop gives post-game responses like Rondo.

  • High Rollers

    I disagree with Magic. Brand new game Thursday. Both teams are tired. No doubt about it. Manu can’t have eight turnovers.

    • GymRat

      Seriously, Manu killed them this game. I was watching and everytime he had the ball I was whispering "don't turn it over, please don't turn it over"…and he either did, or hoisted up a garbage shot that just as well was a turnover.

      Funny how some games have destiny written on them. Game 5 the Spurs got all the lose balls and lucky bounces. This game Battier banks in a 3. SA can't make their free throws or grab a rebound and the ball bounces into the hands of one of the best distance shooters in the history of basketball.

      It certainly helped that the refs put away their whistles and let the Heat mug Ginobli and Green.

  • GymRat

    I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like the Spurs losing would be a lot less upsetting if it wasn't Ray that hits the big shot to send it to OT.

    That shot back-rimming and being on constant replay throughout finals history would have been sweet sweet revenge.

    • High Rollers

      I know Ray did his thing tonight and got puffed up about it, but tonight wasn't even about him and his "stupid two finger thing after a make" as LBJ put it. It was about the game of basketball. And that's a beautiful thing.

  • Neal

    Celtics will be a contender next year if, they are healthy and because Rondo will be back and the rest of the team will begin to gel. Doc will need to find a way to get more out of his bench. They will not win a championship, but will be enjoyable to watch, although very frustrating because they will come up short in games against the top teams. My fantasy is defensive cohesion improves, they find another scorer or develop one and improve in the three point area. If this happens they may contend. This is not the year to blow up the team.

    • WTF

      Contender my ass! Not when Doc is still the coach–He runs KG, PP and RR into the ground by not developing and trusting his bench. No, the Cs will not contend next season if they do not improve.

  • James H

    Thank god for the incompetence of the both the Clippers and the Celts front offices. First, for Ainge to to be happy with DeAndre Jordan and 2 crappy first round picks for Rivers and KG is ridiculouse. All this does is slam the door shut on our season before it even starts, and it does nothing to help a Celtics rebuild. Danny… WTF? Next, for the Clippers to be squeamish about getting a future HOF player and the coach they want because of the value of a crappy 1st round pick – you've got to be kidding me. If I'm Chris Paul or any random Clippers fan I now know with 100% certainty that my team will never win a championship with their current ownership/front office. But as a Celtics fan… I am so thankful this crapfest of a deal never went down.