Would Doc Rivers really leave for the Clippers
? (Al Bello/Getty Images Sport)
Doc Rivers's seemingly fluid position with the Celtics has taken another strange turn. Just days after ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard reported Rivers was considering stepping down as Boston's head coach, ESPN.com and the Los Angeles Times also report Rivers and the Clippers may have mutual interest should he part ways with the Celtics.
This is all rather strange for a coach with three years and $21 million remaining on his current contract, but Rivers's relationship with Danny Ainge and the Celtics is unique. He's the NBA's second-longest-tenured head coach behind San Antonio's Gregg Popovich (Rivers was hired to the position in 2004). That tenure and mutual respect may let Rivers dictate his own terms.
Hence the Clippers' reported interest. Rivers would be an easy fit for L.A. and bring instant clout to the position no other candidate -- Brian Shaw, Lionel Hollins and Byron Scott among them -- could match. There's a bit of a snag, though, as Rivers' market value is a bit richer than Clippers owner Donald Sterling is generally willing to pay for a head coach. Regardless, if the mutual interest is real, a deal could be made. It's still too early to gauge how likely that outcome might be, but at the very least the dots have been connected between Rivers' potential availability and the still-vacant seat on the Clippers bench.