Report: Mutual interest between Rivers, Clippers

Report: Mutual interest between Rivers, Clippers
June 13, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Where current Celtics coach Doc Rivers coaches next season is still a mystery.

Rivers has yet to commit to returning for another season as Celtics head coach, and multiple reports indicate that it's due to the uncertainty of the team's future as a contender.

But a report on Thursday has Los Angeles as one possible destination.

ESPN reports that not only are the Clippers interested in Rivers and would make him the top choice on their list of coaching candidates, but the feeling may be mutual on Rivers' end.

Teams have shown interest in Rivers in the past, but this is the first time we've heard about Rivers' reported interest in coaching any other team.

The Clippers were eliminated by the Grizzlies in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs, which led to the firing of then coach Vinny Del Negro. With Chris Paul set to hit free agency, the Clippers look to solidify a championship-caliber squad and entice the guard to stick around. Bringing on a coach like Rivers would certainly be a good start, but that might not be all.

Losing Rivers would almost certainly mean the end for Kevin Garnett in Boston, and most likely Paul Pierce as well. ESPN also reports that the Celtics and Clippers were in talks near the trade deadline in a deal that centered around trading both Garnett and Pierce to the Clippers in a package for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. The trade obviously fell through, but something similar could pick up again - and this time include Rivers - over the offseason.

The Celtics reportedly denied the Nets permission to talk with Rivers already. According to the Boston Herald, Celtics president Danny Ainge earlier this week also denied the Clippers permission to talk to Rivers.

Celtics president Danny Ainge denied a request from the Clippers to talk to Rivers earlier this week. - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/sports/celtics_nba/celtics_insider/2013/06/clipp...

Rivers has three years and $21 million left on his contract with the team. But if Celtics president Danny Ainge is set on the rebuilding phase, and Rivers isn't on the same page as him, allowing Rivers to walk for something in return - as well as packaging Garnett and/or Pierce - would certainly jump-start the rebuilding process.

Just like it doesn't make much financial sense to hang on to highly-paid veterans during a rebuilding period, it doesn't make much sense to pay a coach that much money over the next three seasons if the team doesn't look to contend until after that period of time.