Welcome to the Speculation Zone

Welcome to the Speculation Zone
June 13, 2013, 1:15 pm
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We’ve entered a major speculation zone with the Celtics, because that’s what happens when a team is eliminated in the first round, its future is hanging by a thread and its much-beloved head coach suddenly has one foot sort of, maybe, slightly kinda out the door.

That said, the idea of Doc Rivers being wary of a rebuild and potentially ready for a change of scenery has been thrown around so much, and by enough legitimate people, that it’s obviously time to take it seriously.

And also, time to ask the question: Why is he is suddenly so wary?

What I mean is that, as far as we know, the Celtics aren’t in rebuilding mode yet. Paul Pierce is still under contract. Kevin Garnett is still under contract. Aside from Chris Wilcox, every significant player from last year’s team (which, if healthy, was supposed to contend in the East) is still under contract. The team is what it was, only now with Rajon Rondo.

So why the panic?

Obviously, because there’s much more to the story.

Here on the outside, we don’t know exactly what’s going on in Danny Ainge’s head . . . but I bet Doc does. I’m sure he’s been prepped on every possibility, and fully understands what Ainge might be willing to do.

Here on the outside, we haven’t heard from or spoken with Kevin Garnett; we don’t know how he’s feeling physically, or how much he’s seriously considering retirement, or how much Paul Pierce’s status will affect his decision.

But I bet Doc does.

He’s in the middle of all of this. It might not be his choice whether the Celtics part ways with Pierce or if KG retires, but as far as what is actually going to happen, Rivers has the best sources in the business. So what’s it say that, at this very moment, he’s so torn on whether he’s ready to go through another rebuild?

That he’s selfish? Disloyal? Not the man Boston hoped that he was?

Maybe. After all, this is what he signed up for. If he’s being true to his word, then none of this should matter. He should be the one guy Ainge doesn’t have to worry about.

But it also says that, with all the inside information that Rivers has gathered, he’s not confident that this coming year will be one worth sticking around for. Which says that he doesn’t expect Pierce or KG to be back. Which says that, regardless of whether Rivers stays, the possibility that both Pierce and KG have played their final games in Boston feels more real now than ever.

At least here in the speculation zone.