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ESPN is reporting that sources close to Doc Rivers say that the Celtics coach thinks it “might be time for a change”, in regards to his relationship with the club. Rivers has been non-committal about his coaching future over the last several weeks following the Celtics first round playoff exit. Rivers has been around the team as they evaluate players for the upcoming NBA Draft.
The obvious reason for Rivers uncertainty regarding his future most surely comes from his close relationship with stars, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Pierce’s future with the Celtics is murky given that only $5 million of his $15 million contract is guaranteed for next season. The Celtics don’t appear to be close to championship contention with the way the team is currently constructed, and many think it might be time for the Celtics to move on from the Pierce era.
Garnett has made it known that he may not want to return to the Celtics if Pierce is released. Garnett may simply decide to retire, or ask to be traded if Pierce and Rivers do not remain part of the equation in Boston. If Garnett and Pierce do not return to the Celtics it seems clear Rivers would not want to be part of a long rebuild. It appears that everything hinges on what Danny Ainge decides to do with Pierce in the coming weeks.
The Nets, Nuggets, and Clippers, all have interest in Rivers as a potential hire for their respective coaching vacancies. Danny Ainge has denied any clubs the right to speak with Rivers about head coaching jobs given that Rivers is still under contract with the Celtics for the next three seasons. If the Celtics and Rivers do decide to part ways amicably, don’t be surprised if the 9-year Celtics coach is offered a high profile job elsewhere for next season.
The future of the Celtics hasn’t been this uncertain in a long time. Stay with Sports of Boston for more coverage as this story develops.