COMMENTARY | Reports have recently been circulating regarding the future of Doc Rivers, the current head coach of the Boston Celtics. While Rivers is still under contract for another three years, there is doubt that he will want to commit to coaching a team surrounded by question marks.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett may have played their last games with the Celtics, and point guard Rajon Rondo is recovering from an ACL injury. There is a very real possibility that Boston will not be a serious competitor for at least a couple of seasons, and Rivers may not want to stick around during a rebuilding phase. If this is the case, several teams around the league would love to have Doc's services on their sideline.
The Los Angeles Clippers are one team that could possibly have interest in Doc Rivers if he is to become available, as they have a coaching vacancy after deciding that Vinny Del Negro will not return to the team. Del Negro seemingly never had the full support of the players and fans in Los Angeles, despite having a talented roster led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
According to a report, Vinny Del Negro would receive "serious consideration" to become the next head coach of the Boston Celtics if Rivers does not return.
Del Negro hasn't been terribly popular in Los Angeles over the past few years, while Rivers has been a favorite of Boston fans for much of his time with the team.
If the Celtics find themselves in a position where they need to find a new head coach, Danny Ainge needs to pass on Vinny Del Negro.
This Celtics team will most likely be very different next season, and Del Negro doesn't offer a ton of benefits to a team looking to go through a rebuilding phase. He was not particularly wanted by the end of his time with the Clippers, and it's tough to believe that he would be a good fit for a rebuilding team. Danny Ainge would be better off looking for a younger coach rather than one that has been recycled around the league.
If the team heads in a new direction, the Celtics should look for a coach who can grow and develop along with the younger players. Brian Shaw may still be available if Rivers leaves, making him a great candidate to start a new era.
There were doubts regarding whether some of the players in Los Angeles supported and played hard for Del Negro, which are concerns that would carry over to Boston. Rajon Rondo can be stubborn, and it is reasonable that Del Negro could quickly lose support of Boston's star player early in his tenure. The wrong coach can stunt the growth of a young team, something that Ainge surely needs to avoid.
Boston could certainly find a serviceable coach if Rivers leaves, and Ainge can find one who would provide much more upside than Vinny Del Negro. A recycled coach like Del Negro wouldn't do a rebuilding team any good, while bringing in a long time assistant looking for a head coaching opportunity could pay dividends. Even if Ainge decides to hire a more experienced head coach, candidates like Lionel Hollins and George Karl would be much higher on the list than Del Negro.
Losing Doc Rivers would hurt the Celtics, and replacing him with Vinny Del Negro would only add insult to injury.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings .
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- Boston Celtics
- Vinny Del Negro
- Doc Rivers
- Danny Ainge