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Doc Rivers silent on whether he'll return as Celtics coach next season

Celtics coach Doc Rivers declined to address his future with the Celtics on Sunday. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images) Celtics coach Doc Rivers declined to address his future with the Celtics on Sunday. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers would not say whether he plans to return to the team next season.

"I'd rather not say," Rivers told The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn in a text-message conversation on Sunday.

Rivers has not spoken with reporters for more than a month after the Celtics fell to the New York Knicks in six games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. He has three years and $21 million remaining on his contract.

Citing league sources, Washburn reported that it is unlikely that Rivers would "hold the Celtics hostage for more than a month and then step down," since numerous high-profile coaching vacancies have already been filled. Rivers, however, only told Washburn that he would address his situation "soon."

The Celtics have had immense success under Rivers' tenure, which began in the 2004-05 season and includes a 2008 NBA championship. Perhaps now more than ever, the Celtics face questions about whether their aging core of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce — along with point guard Rajon Rondo's return from injury — can provide the same formula that has allowed the team to remain competitive at the top of the Eastern Conference.

IAN THOMSEN: Here are the Celtics' offseason priorities >

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