There has been a lot of talk over the last week or so about whether or not Doc Rivers wants to remain with the Boston Celtics. Ray Allen has moved on and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have very little left in the tank. The championship window has closed, and Rivers is not interested in taking on a full-blown rebuilding project. Now, rumors are swirling that Pierce, Garnett and Rivers could all leave town together.
According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, there is a “rising belief” around the NBA that Rivers, Pierce and Garnett would all like to move to the Los Angeles Clippers together if the Celtics aren’t in a position to contend for a title next season. While it was initially assumed that any trade like that would involve Blake Griffin, Stein said it would be possible for the Clippers to land all three without giving up Griffin. They would have to send cash and draft considerations for Rivers.
Rivers has established an extremely close relationship with Pierce over the last decade and Garnett since the Big Three first came together in 2007. Both players have hinted in the past that they would never play for anyone but Doc, and a scenario like the one Stein laid out could keep them all together while still giving them a shot at another ring.
Of course, money would be an issue for both teams. Pierce’s $15 million contract with the Celtics for next year is not fully guaranteed, but Boston would have to pay him $5 million if they released him. There has been a lot of talk about Garnett retiring, but I’m sure he could be persuaded to play alongside Pierce, Griffin and Chris Paul while keeping his favorite coach. Some restructuring of deals would have to take place and the Clippers would have to compensate the Celtics quite handsomely, but it’s not totally out of the question.