Will it all come down to this for Doc Rivers’ future in Boston? We should find out in mere hours, as Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald who has confirmed that Rivers will meet with Danny Ainge today to discuss his future.
According to a league source, Rivers hopes after that discussion to make his first public comments regarding his future since saying on May 3rd that he was uncertain if he would be on the Celtic bench for the 2013-14 season.
“I am meeting with Doc tomorrow,” Ainge confirmed to the Herald. “He’s coming to town. He was coming to town before the events of today, so we were planning on meeting tomorrow anyway.”
“I don’t know if anything will be decided tomorrow or if anything will be resolved,” said Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations. “I just know that I’m meeting with him.”
Ainge did speak with Rivers by phone today after the Clippers pulled away from the trade talks and both teams had proclaimed the negotiations done. “It went good,” Ainge said of that conversation.
He was less certain when asked where Rivers now stands on his career. “I don’t know,” Ainge said. “I don’t know. I’ll wait for him to decide that.”
So what can we take out of this report, as far as Rivers’ direct future is concerned. Less than you might think.
Part of me thinks on the small but still legitimate possibility that Rivers comes back here, if he has assurances Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will be back as well. I’m not sure if Ainge is willing to give into that declaration at this point, but perhaps after exploring the trade market for both players in the past couple weeks, he may be willing to be leaning towards holding onto them, with such lackluster returns out there.
Knowing Ainge, I just can’t see him taking anything off the table, and Rivers needs to be willing to live with that if he wants to pull a mea culpa and return to the team. Can he pull it off without having egg on his face? I think so, since his first choice was probably always to be in Boston with Pierce and Garnett and many C’s fans can respect that. If he wanted out no matter what happened to those guys (and still wants out), that’s an entirely different scenario and there’s no doubt he will be judged appropriately.
All in all, little has changed for the C’s. Big decisions still remain in place in the upcoming two weeks, but now time is running short to make them. There are no deadlines for today though. Doc may very well meet with Danny and still have to think about things again, as crazy as that sounds. He’s given no indication that a final decision will be reached today on his future, because there’s no way Ainge probably knows whether Pierce/KG are done in Boston or not. It’s all very fluid and that’s what makes it all very complicated.
However it pans out, we’ll probably get a sense of what direction things are heading in. A team usually wants to know who it’s head coach will be prior to an NBA Draft. We’re only eight days away from that.
Thus, the saga continues.