There is still a good chance that next season Doc Rivers will be back coaching Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Boston. For one more year, one more run.
But as it gets closer to time for everyone to make a decision at the end of the month — Rivers and Garnett on whether to return, Boston on whether to buy out Pierce — it feels more and more like it could come to an end.
The latest is a report from Chris Broussard at ESPN that Doc Rivers is thinking it may be time for him to move on.
“Doc loves coaching,” the source told ESPN. “He loves coaching in Boston. But he feels it may be time for a change.”
Rivers, who has been attending the Celtics’ pre-draft workouts, is unsure of what he wants to do and has not yet ruled out returning to Boston for a 10th season. He has a very close relationship with (Celtics GM Danny) Ainge, and the source said that is one factor that is making his decision so difficult.
Rivers has three years and $21 million left on his contract… that is not easy to walk away from. Because that contract is in place it is likely Rivers would take at least a year off from coaching, or maybe return to broadcasting. Then he could return in a year or two to a job he sees as a good fit.
If he really is saying things like it might be time for a change, then it probably is time for a change.
Kevin Garnett is under contract for two more seasons but is considering retirement. Pierce is owned $15 million for next season but the Celtics can buy him out for $5 million before July 1 at which time the deal becomes fully guaranteed.
It’s all up in the air. I still think it is likely the Celtics bring everyone back for one more run, then they start making big changes. But it sounds like everyone involved is still trying to decide if that is the best course of action, of if it should just all come to a halt now.