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Clips Flirting With Byron Scott, Doc Still Deciding

Here’s your Saturday update on the Doc Rivers saga:

According to Mark Heisler, The Clippers are reportedly moving closer to financial terms with coaching candidate Byron Scott (4 years, $16-20M) with Brian Shaw still in the mix, in the neighborhood of 3 years and $9M. Nearing a deal with either one serves as both a counter-move to Rivers’ ostensible declaration of disinterest in the Clipper job yesterday and a hedge against it actually being true.

The Clippers almost certainly still favor Rivers (and, of course, Kevin Garnett, who only comes as part of the package for the head coach) but remain unwilling to give up a first round pick, particularly one in the rich 2014 draft. This despite it being the final piece of a puzzle that would allow them to fortify their team for a championship run next season.

As we’ve recently learned, Rivers did not create these trade talks by asking for a move to the Clippers. Danny Ainge was the one who conceptualized the Doc-to-LA trade and brought it to his head coach, when it became clear the Clippers had interest in his coach.

We know the Celtics’ clear preference is to retool, which would mean the departures of Garnett and Paul Pierce, however Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald has a source indicating that Garnett could return to Boston next season. That wouldn’t happen without Rivers also returning, something he is reportedly considering this weekend.

Who has the leverage right now? It’s hard to tell. The Celtics do not want to pay an ambivalent Rivers $7M next season but should he return to broadcasting, they wouldn’t have to. And they’d still retain the right to compensation should he wish to coach elsewhere in the next three years. They will not let him go for free. So the Clippers’ leverage on that front is blunted. The Clippers remain beholden to Chris Paul, but may already have assurances he’d be willing to play for Scott, even if he’d prefer Rivers.

One interesting consideration: what is Ainge’s B-plan if he can’t close this deal with the Clippers? Is it to return the same core? Perhaps that’s something he’d consider if Rivers agrees to return. Or would he move Pierce and, by extension, force Garnett and Rivers into even more difficult decisions than they face now?

Lots of questions, not many answers right now. Stay tuned.

  • DreMo

    Absoluetly. Run it back … and add pieces around the last hurrah. Get a true big and a shooter SOMEHOW.

    • sightline

      Its not going to be pretty. Look at footage of the 2008 finals and compare it to the finals this year and youll see that this team is in need of some fresh young bodies. And no one wants to trade with the Celtics for a reasonable return on the vets. Blow it up. Let Doc, KG and PP enjoy the next one or two years.

      • hax

        This is a better team than blowing it up would give us, still a contender if LeBron's leag snaps in half imo. In a year or two when PP/KG/Doc retire, we're open to a free agent big 3 spree of our own. That makes us contenders every year. Blowing it up makes us Rondo & Green & friends for years to come.

        • hax

          *leg :)

  • swissflix

    they better come up with all the answers tomorrow! cannot handle this mess anymore – i even dreamt about griffin playing for the celtics last night and i don't remember if this was a good dream or a bad one. Move on with this circus!

  • g12

    All good comments. Im now on board with the idea of losing rondo. That is how you can snag a big and then shop around for a point. But i cannot stress the importance of running back the core for this last year. As stated above, there is a natural blowing up that will occur. Honor the contracts. I believe paul p will be back next year looking to prove something. I rather have him here doing that here then there. He is still too good. He has a young body, like kg. Age is overrated. I watched the 2008 finals the other day. The biggest difference i saw was perk in the middle changes it all. Let us pick him up in a sign n trade for lee or terry. Many ideas. Danny ought to pull out the 2k and make trades and run the sim. Now i say trade rondo IF he is really as bad as they say, not otherwise. Go to doc and let doc make some moves as clearly danny needs to read some deeper metaphysical work and alter his philosophy a tad as he has failed to replicate the synergy he helped create from 2008-2010.

    • jman

      Exactly, however one other idea is hopefully Doc changes his schemes a little to accommodate his players talents which was one thing he really failed on with Terry and Lee. As always stated trade rondo for a big and pick up a avg PG and that'll help the team tremendously.

  • hax

    Garnett is top 10 in Player Impact Estimate & Rondo was 21st. I don't want to lose either.

  • http://www.business-edge.com Mattie

    I’d love to get a big for rondo and draft a newbie pg but I don’t think rondos trade value will be much until he comes back 100% from his acl. Doc will leave and the team will be better from that alone with core intact.

    • hax

      Poor Rondo :( Triple Double every game and gets no love.
      Pretty sure the Lakers would love to do a sign & trade of Howard for Rondo/KG

  • elroz

    Terry, Lee, Wilcox generally let the team down…and Danny decides to ship KG and Pierce?

    Sullinger, Barbosa, and Rondo injuries?

    I think moving KG and Pierce is the wrong approach – these guys are NOT the problem.

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