Friday, June 21, 2013

Whither Doc Rivers?

I've been meaning to comment on the trade talks between the Boston Celtics and the LA Clippers but honestly I've been busy and was also under the assumption that the deal would be done by now. There are some aspects of this potential transaction that I don't think are getting proper attention and on which I'd like to offer my two cents.

Doc Rivers never won anything as a player. That's not a knock against him - just the facts. He never came close to winning a ring as a player and until Danny Ainge remade the Celtics roster by trading for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett - he was never was close as a coach either. But once you've won a ring (and come so close to another) - who's to say that you don't naturally get greedy for a second champagne shower? Same goes for Kevin Garnett - he was in the wastelands in Minnesota until a trade opened championship opportunities for him. Both Doc and KG just finished watching Ray Allen win his second ring - who could blame them if they were jealous?

As an aside - the only man with multiple rings in this scenario (Danny Ainge with 3) - is also the coolest actor in this poker game. That is worthy of note.

Speaking of the Heat winning the championship - perhaps one of the reasons this deal (Doc Rivers and KG for DeAndre Jordan plus one or two first round draft picks) isn't done is because David Stern didn't want any NBA news detracting away from the finals. Now that the finals are done - can a deal possibly be announced soon?

Last season KG averaged 14.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG in just under 30 minutes per game. He is one of the greatest players in NBA history and does not shrink from the big moments. Current Laker Dwight Howard averaged 17.1 and 12.4 last season in 35 minutes per game but I'd argue that Howard does shrink in the limelight. Would Kobe Bryant be happier with his championship chances with an equally motivated KG in the front court? Just how happy is Kobe with Mike D'Antoni? The Lakers could easily trade Howard to the Houston Rockets and use part of that haul (plus a first round pick) to send to Boston for Doc and KG.  Maybe a birdie should be whispering in Kobe's ear right about now. Maybe they already are.

Nobody in Boston is enthusiastic about DeAndre Jordan. He's basically a more polished Fab Melo - who coincidentally was drafted by the Celtics with a Clippers first round pick acquired in the Kendrick Perkins trade. Maybe Danny Ainge should table discussions with the Clippers to file tampering charges. What right did the Clippers have in talking to or about Doc and KG who are both under contract? I'd be asking for a first rounder in compensation. Let that sink in to the Clippers that they might lose a first rounder and get nothing in return. Compound that with Chris Paul getting frustrated with having to wait like the petulant spoiled brat that he seems to be and we'll see how willing Clippers management is to continue to play chicken with that second first round pick.

At this point I think the trade with the Clippers might be the least appealing of three scenarios. The first being the trade with the Clips; the second being a trade with the Lakers and the third and maybe most appealing of all is getting a first round pick from the Clippers for tampering and then holding onto Doc Rivers' rights while he goes and does TV for a season. The rights for Doc will be worth a first rounder now or at some point in the future. Why not wait? In this last scenario the Celtics get two first round picks and won't have to pretend to be happy to have high-priced DeAndre Jordan clogging up the middle. Kevin Garnett can return or retire or be traded - whatever he wants.

Anyways - my two cents on whither Doc Rivers.

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