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Celtics should let Doc Rivers go

June 17, 2013|By Bill Plaschke
  • Doc Rivers coaches the Boston Celtics in a game against the New York Knicks
Doc Rivers coaches the Boston Celtics in a game against the New York Knicks (C.J. Gunther / EPA )

The most amazing thing about the potential blockbuster trade that would send Coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers is that it hasn't already happened.

What are Celtics waiting for? What choice do they have at this point? Rivers has clearly already emotionally left them, or this trade would never have been discussed in the first place. Rivers obviously is looking for new horizons, or he would have shut down the trade talks immediately and returned to working on fulfilling the rest of his three-year contract with the Celtics.

How do the Celtics ask Rivers to come back to work when he is already shown a willingness to go elsewhere? How do they ask their team to buy into a coach who is suddenly behaving like a player who wants to be traded?

The Celtics have dwindling leverage by the day here, so this deal should already be done. Boston should send Rivers and Kevin Garnett to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and a first-round draft pick, period. All this talk about the Celtics holding out for Eric Bledsoe is nonsense. The Clippers would be foolish to trade one of the game's most exciting young guards when it's not absolutely necessary. The deal can get done without him. The Celtics need for this deal to get done bad enough to stop asking for him.

Once the deal is done, both teams should be thrilled. The Celtics will get a chance to rebuild with new faces, and the Clippers will finally get a chance to seriously contend for a title. Once Rivers and Garnett are with the Clippers, Chris Paul will undoubtedly agree to re-sign there, and out of the usual Clipper weirdness, a powerhouse will appear.

Rivers gives them the sort of credible, NBA-championship coach that they've never had. Paul remains their MVP-type coach on the floor. Garnett gives Blake Griffin a tough-guy role model who can school the young star on the biggest missing part of his game. And who knows, maybe Paul Pierce would then agree to join his two former Celtic coworkers to give the Clippers more of the much-needed fourth-quarter nerve.

It's a better deal for the Clippers than the Celtics, but it's a must-deal for the Celtics, so what's stopping them?


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